Illegal immigrant found cleaning British House of Commons

February 10th, 2008 - 11:03 am ICT by admin  

Gordon Brown
London, Feb.10 (ANI): An illegal immigrant from Brazil has been arrested after she was found to be working inside the House of Commons using a fake identity pass.

According to The Sunday Telegraph, Elaine Chaves Aparecida was detained by police after a random check on her security pass showed that it belonged to someone else.

She had been working in the Commons since December 3 last year as the employee of a cleaning company, Emprise Services.

When questioned, 31-year-old Chaves said she had run away from immigration officials at Heathrow Terminal 4 in December 2004 before she could be refused entry.

The Gordon Brown Government is viewing the incident as a serious breach of security, even as it is being accused of a cover-up.

According to the paper which got access to leaked documents, Britain’s Immigration Minister Liam Byrne was informed immediately of the case ten days ago, but the Home Office confirmed the security breach only after the newspaper contacted it on Saturday night.

The paper claims that a letter marked “restricted” and “urgent” was sent to Byrne and Lin Homer, who heads the Border and Immigration Agency, on January 31, warning them that a woman who had absconded from Heathrow airport three years earlier had been arrested at Westminster that day.

The letter was sent by Tony Smith, the regional director of the immigration agency, who urged the government to “take a reactive approach to the scandal”.

The breach comes only a few months after Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, was forced to admit that as many as 11,000 non-European Union nationals licensed to work in the security industry might be illegal immigrants. It was discovered that one of them had been responsible for overseeing Tony Blair’s car while in repair.

The Conservatives have demanded urgent action to prevent further breaches.

It is not the first time that the security of Parliament has been called into question. In 2004, an undercover reporter reportedly smuggled a fake bomb into the Commons where he was working in the catering department and a Fathers 4 Justice campaigner threw purple flour packages at Mr. Blair during Prime Ministers’ Questions.

The Commons authorities recently introduced a new entry system that requires the entering of a personal identification number after a pass is scanned. But the system was installed at the beginning of the year and questions will inevitably be asked of why the illegal worker could still gain entry using a stolen pass in January.

Chaves was due to be deported to Brazil last week after being held in detention. (ANI)

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