Pas­sen­ger had £30,000 in cash hid­den in nap­pies at air­port

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

BIRM­ING­HAM Air­port po­lice con­fis­cated £30,000 of cash from a pas­sen­ger hid­den in nap­pies.

The seizure came dur­ing a week­long blitz on crime at the bustling ter­mi­nal, where of­fi­cers also seized more than £20,000 found hid­den in two sep­a­rate suit­cases.

Cash to­talling £73,000 was con­fis­cated from peo­ple trav­el­ling abroad be­tween Oc­to­ber 15-19.

No ar­rests have been made so far but po­lice say in­ves­ti­ga­tions are on­go­ing into what are un­der­stood to be proceeds of crime seizures.

Insp Chris Cot­ton, who man­ages the Air­port Polic­ing Unit for West Mid­lands Po­lice, said: “Last month we launched Project Ser­va­tor adopt- ing new spe­cial­ist tac­tics aimed at tack­ling a range of crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity, in­clud­ing ter­ror­ism, at Birm­ing­ham Air­port.

“The tac­tics are de­signed to deter, de­tect and dis­rupt a range of crime, whilst re­as­sur­ing mem­bers of the pub­lic.

“This week has seen daily de­ploy­ments around the en­tire air­port with uni­formed and plain-clothed po­lice of­fi­cers spe­cially trained to iden­tify any­one want­ing to com­mit crime.

“They are sup­ported by spe­cial­ist po­lice re­sources such as search dogs and armed of­fi­cers. CCTV and ve­hi­cle check­points are also used to keep peo­ple safe and se­cure.”

With the na­tional threat of ter­ror- ism re­main­ing “se­vere”, tack­ling ter­ror­ism is para­mount and of­fi­cers from the West Mid­lands Counter Ter­ror­ism Unit were also vis­i­ble dur­ing the oper­a­tion.

Agen­cies in­clud­ing Bor­der Force, Na­tional Crime Agency, Re­gional Or­gan­ised Crime Unit and Bri­tish Trans­port Po­lice also took part in the ini­tia­tive.

The oper­a­tion saw po­lice check­ing on peo­ple car­ry­ing large amounts of cash which may have orig­i­nated from proceeds of crime or go to­wards fund­ing ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­i­ties.

Spe­cial­ist po­lice dogs which are trained to de­tect large quan­ti­ties of cash were also in use.

Det Chief Supt Matt Ward, from West Mid­lands Counter Ter­ror­ism Unit, ex­plained: “Here in the West Mid­lands, Birm­ing­ham Air­port is our main bor­der and so we must use all re­sources at our dis­posal to not only com­bat crime but have a very vis­i­ble pres­ence to pre­vent ter­ror­ism.

“It is a very joined-up ap­proach at the air­port – it’s not only po­lice of­fi­cers that keep the pub­lic safe but also air­port staff who work across a whole range of func­tions.

“We pro­vide train­ing and ad­vice for lots of roles here from staff who check trav­ellers into their flights to clean­ing staff – they know what to look out for and can be our ex­tra eyes and ears on the ground.”

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