By Janet Fife-Yeomans
The Daily Telegraph
May 26, 2008
A MAN was able to walk past customs and immigration counters to farewell
a friend at the departure gate in a major security breach at Sydney
It was was only when he realised his mistake and tried to go back that
the security breach was discovered.
The Australian Customs Services has launched an investigation into the
latest security embarrassment at the country's busiest airport - and may
lay criminal charges against the man.
Angry unions said they were not surprised at the gaping security flaw,
which they said threatened the safety of all passengers and airline
The Daily Telegraph can reveal that the man's friend had checked in for
his flight and gone through customs and security to wait at the
departure gate on Sunday May 18 at about 10am.
"Not long after, the friend decided he wanted to see the gentleman who
was flying one last time," a source said.
"He strolled through the doors to customs, walked straight by the
customs counters - unchallenged by the agents manning the desks -
cleared security (who were not to know he wasn't flying), then proceeded
to the gate lounge where his passenger friend was waiting."
A Customs spokesman confirmed the breach but said the man had gone
through full security screening.
"The circumstances under which he was not processed through the outward
customs area are still being examined," the spokesman said.
"But he was subject to the full aviation screening processed."
The man may be charged under section 234 of the Customs Act, which
covers the unauthorised entry to a customs-controlled area.
Transport Workers Union national secretary Tony Sheldon said that
someone so easily by-passing customs did not say a lot for airport
He said it was an example of a problem across the count
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