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Brazilian cleaner spots security hole in Heathrow e-borders

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The arrest of yet another illegal immigrant working at the House of Commons has revealed an unexpected vulnerability in the Home Office's plan to secure the UK's borders. What if they arrive at Heathrow and just run for it?

Brazilian woman Elaine Chaves Aperecida appears to have hit on something akin to this splendidly old-tech plan when she was detained by immigration officials in December 2004. Then, reports the Telegraph, she ran way from immigration officials before she could be refused entry.

It's not something Register hacks had previously noted, but yes now you mention it, UK immigration officials generally don't look either heavily armed or particularly athletic. So just familiarise yourself with the terminal maps during the flight, sprint for it and - having donned the apron secreted in your hand luggage - lose yourself among London's cleaning staff.

Which is certainly the outcome Elaine achieved until two weeks ago, when she was detained "after a random check on her security pass." This appears to have belonged to someone else, but she is reported to have been working in Parliament since early December, presumably using the same pass. Or perhaps not - officials seem not to know where she got the pass or to whom it had been issued in the first place, so perhaps the cleaners have a bucket of them that they just share around.

Traditionally UK Parliamentary passes have been ludicrously insecure and uncontrolled, but as the Telegraph notes, a new entry system was introduced last year, and the fact that Chaves was able to work there anyway for two months suggests that it's just as hopeless as the last system. Which we think is what we said here. ®

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