Albanians used fake Greek passports to fly to Scotland

Ryanair was penalised by the Home Office but airline's appeal has been upheld.

Edinburgh Airport: Two Albanians arrived in Scotland with fake passports (file pic). <strong>© Ad Meskens</strong>
Edinburgh Airport: Two Albanians arrived in Scotland with fake passports (file pic). © Ad Meskens

Two Albanians used fake Greek passports to fly illegaly into Scotland, it has emerged.

Ryanair was penalised by the Home Office as a result of the two migrants arriving at Edinburgh Airport carrying false Greek passports in May 2015.

Immigration law allows a home secretary to charge aircraft and ship owners if travellers arrive at immigration control barriers without correct identity documents.

Rules say owners can be charged £2000 per individual. The Edinburgh Airport incident has just emerged in a court ruling after Ryanair successfully contested the decision by home secretary Theresa May to penalise them.

ADVERT

Ms May told Ryanair to pay £4000 after the pair were caught with the forged documents by border officials at Edinburgh Airport.

Judge Lochrane, who analysed the case at the Central London County Court earlier this year, said the two Albanians, a man and a woman, had flown from Majorca.

He said they seemed to have passed through Spanish border police and through Ryanair ground handling agents in Spain.

Their false passports were spotted when checked by UK Border Force inspectors at immigration control in Edinburgh Airport.

ADVERT

In a judge’s ruling on the case, chief immigration officer Sarah Drum described Greek passports as “high risk” documents. She said Greek passports are a particular target for forgers.

Judge Damien Lochrane quoted from a letter the official had written during the litigation, which said: “Greek passports are a well-known high risk document.”

Ryanair said the charges imposed by Mrs May were unfair because the “falsity” of the passports would not have been “reasonably apparent” to their ground handling agents.

Judge Lochrane agreed and ruled in Ryanair’s favour. He allowed an appeal by the airline and said the charges imposed by Mrs May should be dismissed.


You're up to date

You've read today's top stories. Where would you like to go next?