UK reporter takes Eurostar with false passport

3rd August 2005, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, Aug 3 (AFP) - A British TV reporter said Wednesday he travelled through the Channel Tunnel using a colleague's passport, just days after a suspect in the London bombings fled the country for Italy by the same route.

LONDON, Aug 3 (AFP) - A British TV reporter said Wednesday he travelled through the Channel Tunnel using a colleague's passport, just days after a suspect in the London bombings fled the country for Italy by the same route.

Sky News journalist Jonathan Samuels said he went through at least three passport and security checks at London's Waterloo station before boarding a Eurostar train to Paris.

"First of all I bought my ticket (using the colleague's passport) -- no problem despite the false name," Samuels said.

"Once through the ticket barrier, I passed security checks before heading to passport control. Then, barely a glance at my false documents, and I was on my way."

Samuels also confronted French border police who are supposed to inspect the travel documents of all outbound Eurostar travellers, "but despite a different photo and an older date of birth, I was allowed through".

Hamdi Issac, 27, also known as Hussain Osman, a suspect in a July 21 attempt to repeat the July 7 attacks that killed 56 people, including four suicide bombers, is thought to have fled London on a Eurostar train.

He was arrested in Rome last Friday, pending extradition to Britain.

A French border police official told AFP on Monday that officers at Waterloo station did not intercept Issac because they had "no usable photograph" and that his name did not appear in European police files.

A Home Office spokeswoman, commenting on the Sky News reporter's case, said the British immigration service "has been operating various levels of embarkation checks in response to police requests".

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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