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A man from Britain is currently unaccounted for following accusations of traveling from London to New York without a ticket or passport.
Craig Sturt has been alleged to have bypassed the security measures at Heathrow Airport by not presenting any documents before getting on a British Airways flight to John F Kennedy airport. Additionally, his ticket was not checked during this process.
On Christmas Eve, a 46-year-old individual was halted upon arrival at the New York airport by an armed officer and subsequently returned to the UK via a charter flight.
On Christmas day, Mr. Sturt was taken into custody after his flight landed and accused of violating the Aviation Security Act.
The Sun reported that Sturt was accused of entering the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner without purchasing a ticket. He allegedly evaded security checks by following closely behind other passengers, also known as “tailgating”. Due to multiple passengers missing their connecting flights, Sturt was able to find a seat on the flight, which was completely sold out.
The defendant pleaded guilty to the charges in Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court and was scheduled to receive his sentence last month. However, this caused further humiliation for UK authorities when he did not show up in court. It was reported that the Metropolitan Police had brought Mr. Sturt to a hospital in Reading for medical care, but he managed to flee from there.
According to sources, the Home Secretary, James Cleverly, is aware of the incident and has requested information on how the “embarrassing disaster” occurred.
Thames Valley Police issued an arrest warrant against Mr Sturt after he was reported missing on 25 January. “Please can you help us find Craig?” it read.
At the time of his disappearance, the man was 46 years old, had a height of 6 feet, and a slender build. He had short dark brown hair and was dressed in a grey jacket, a shirt, black sweatpants, and white sneakers.
The appeal stated that he was last spotted in Reading, but he is originally from Slough and has connections to Heathrow and Tottenham Court Road in London. The post advised against approaching him and urged the public to contact the police if they see him.
As of January 31st, the Metropolitan Police have assumed control of the investigation.
“In a statement, it was reported that on December 24, 2023, the police were informed of a potential security breach at Heathrow Airport. A male individual was then arrested and later charged with fraud and violations of the Aviation Security Act.”
“We are continuously collaborating with our partners to evaluate and improve our strong security protocols, which are regularly reviewed by our security alliance.”
Lee Smith, 52, the brother of Mr. Sturt, expressed shock when he received a call from the police informing him that they were searching for his brother. He told The Sun on Sunday, “I was in disbelief.”
This situation is absurd. If someone like Craig, who has a troubled history, could bypass security, then it’s possible for anyone else with malicious intentions to do the same. Those in charge should be held accountable. How was this allowed to occur?
Heathrow Airport stated that Mr. Sturt went through security, but it is still unknown how he managed to bypass document checks before and after.
A spokesperson for Heathrow stated that they are collaborating with all partners to evaluate and strengthen the existing security measures, which are regularly reviewed by the larger security partnership.
A representative from British Airways also released a statement indicating that they are aiding the authorities in their inquiry.