Feeds

Underweight passport pic left traveller stuck in Amsterdam

That's heavy, man

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Putting on weight can be bad for your health: it may also cause you difficulties when trying to enter the United Kingdom.

That was the unfortunate experience of a Mr Derrick Agyeman, for whom weight gain led to an enforced stay in the Netherlands, and litigation that is still making its ponderous way through the UK courts some years later.

Agyeman, 37, lost the latest legal round in the case earlier this month, though the matter seems likely to drag on.

Details of exactly what happened are still a little hazy, and the fact that this story surfaced in the Australian press led us initially to wonder whether we weren’t victim to a new urban myth in the making.

However, the Home Office has since confirmed that this incident really did happen – and the Foreign Office has also acknowledged it, whilst refusing to provide further comment.

In August 2006, Agyeman, a British citizen who had been issued with a British passport by the High Commission in Ghana, was returning to the United Kingdom after a weekend away with friends. He is understood to have been buying a house and finding work in the UK.

He was arrested and detained by the authorities in Amsterdam on the basis that he did not resemble the person in his passport photograph. He had put on some 31kg in weight and according to ninemsn, "his fuller lips and ears did not match his passport photograph", which had been taken some nine years previously.

Agyeman’s woes were compounded when the British Consulate cancelled his passport and refused to issue a new one until appropriate documents were provided. He then languished a further three months in Amsterdam before he was finally able to return home to the UK.

He is alleged to have said: "I cry when I think about what happened with me."

Since returning to the UK, Agyeman has sought redress, bringing a case against the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, who is responsible for the working of overseas representatives of the UK government.

His claim for judicial review was heard in the Administrative Court earlier this month, and was based on a claim that the British Consulate in the Netherlands had acted unlawfully in cancelling his passport and refusing to issue a replacement straight away. They had further breached his rights under article eight of the European Convention on Human Rights (respect for private and family life).

The Court dismissed this application, but that may not be the end of the matter. A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office told us: "This was a complex case stretching over years, involving several agencies.

"There is no question of deliberate withholding or trying to delay the case which was in nobody's interests. The matter may still be the subject of litigation and it would therefore be inappropriate to comment further." ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.