Drug suspects waved through custom checks to reduce Olympic queues
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Drug suspects are being waved through custom checks at Heathrow due to understaffing at Heathrow Airport, the BBC reported.
Immigration officers told the BBC that alerts have been ignored on several occasions as customer officers are deployed to help cut passenger queues before the Olympics.
The Home Office says proper checks are always made but immigration officers say that reducing queues has become the main priority and suspected drug couriers have been allowed through the gates.
An anonymous Heathrow worker told BBC Radio 4's The Report programme: 'We have a watch-list of passengers whose profile identifies them as people who might be bringing prohibited substances into the country.
'On several occasions we've rung customs control to report a passenger, but they have not had anyone to follow it up. The priority is queue-busting.'
Another staff member said: 'If I were a drugs baron, it will be a free-for-all during the Olympics.
'The customs operation has virtually ceased. Customs officers are being deployed on the queues. It's just queue-bust, queue-bust. We're focused so heavily on 100% desk occupancy, everything else has stopped.'
In recent weeks there have been regular drug seizures and the UK Border Force is fully equipped to deal with the demand of the Olympics, the Home Office said.
But John McDonnell MP, whose Hayes and Harrington constituency covers Heathrow, warns even terror suspects could be entering Britain.
Mr McDonnell received an anonymous letter from an immigration officer at Heathrow saying border staff had missed terror suspects passing through the airport at least six times in the past few weeks.
'Our borders are insecure.' he said. 'People will be coming through who shouldn't be coming through.
'Goods may well be coming through that shouldn't be coming through - and that includes drugs.
'The worst element of it, there's a real risk now that terrorist suspects are walking through.'
In a statement, a Home Office spokesman said: 'As we are now seeing at Heathrow, Border Force is fully prepared to cope with busy periods during the Olympics and beyond.
'It is transforming the way it works to deliver improved passenger waiting times as well as a secure border.'
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