Sunday, 9 November 2008



SIA security scandal No2

By Daniel Jones And Muhamed Veliu

A government issue ID card that could get terror bombers into some of the UK's most sensitive sites was obtained by The People using fake documents.
The Security Industry Authority licence shows holders have been cleared to work as guards.
Anybody producing one might be entrusted with a security job at airports, Whitehall offices, industrial centres, hospitals and nightclubs.
But getting hold of the licence with bogus ID is terrifyingly simple. And we were assured that criminals and illegal immigrants regularly use the scam to fool employers.
Terrorists could do the same. It is effectively a licence to bomb.
Conservative Shadow Home Secretary Dominic Grieve said last night: "This breach could have allowed potentially anyone to work in extremely sensitive positions. It is shoddy."
Applicants for the SIA card need to send off a passport or driving licence, plus two supporting documents and evidence of having passed an approved security guard course.
Our investiga tor first bought a fake EU passport for £500. It was in the name of Dzintars Stasulis, a Latvian born in 1980. He then took a two-day course on the security industry with a firm called Get Licensed. Supporting ID needed can be a marriage certificate, TV licence, utility bill or bank statement.
Again this was no problem.
Websites offer replica documents and our man ordered an HSBC bank statement and a BT phone bill.
Finally, he filled in an application form for a door supervisor's licence and sent it off with the £245 fee.
We had thought SIA officials would quickly see through our investigation.
The documents were unconvincing and anyone checking the address would have found no trace of Dzintars Stasulis.
The counter-signatory on the application was also a People reporter. But he was never contacted. And eight weeks later the SIA licence arrived.
Potential bosses shown the card could carry out their own checks. But many would assume the SIA does this.
Our findings are yet another blow to the 120-strong authority, set up by the Home Office four years ago. Its chief Mike Wilson quit on Thursday after admitting some of his own staff did not have proper clearance.
A year ago the authority was found to have cleared almost 7,000 illegal immigrants. One guarded the Home Office, another the Prime Minister's car.
The People was tipped off about continued sloppiness by a shocked insider at the SIA.
Our source said: "Using fake EU passports to get a licence is common. Criminals with convictions and illegals do this.
"I warned the SIA but they ignored me. The worry is that terrorists might try this to get into Government buildings."
Charles Shoebridge, an excounter-terrorism officer, said: "If even basic checks aren't carried out, there's no point in asking for documentation."
Sia spokeswoman Jessica Clinkett said: "On the face of the information provided, criminal offences have been committed.
Until this is investigated we have no further comment."

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