* Was it a dry run? Did anybody even question his motives or his religious affiliations? Was it native Brits who failed so miserably at passport control in England or (some of) Â his Muslim brothers?
Security at one of the UK’s biggest airports has been branded ‘a total failure’ after a man flew to Pakistan using his little sister’s passport.
Businessman Kasim Raja went unchallenged through three security checks at Birmingham International Airport using his sister Samina Raja’s ID.
He then boarded a Pakistan International Airlines flight to Islamabad, where he was finally spotted.Â Â
Kasim Raja (r) was allowed to fly from Birmingham International Airport to Pakistan using his sister Samina’s (l) passport, which he “accidentally” picked up
He said the wrong passport was checked at the first desk and also at the boarding gate before he was waved through.
It was only when the 26-year-old finally reached the Pakistani capital that border control staff there noticed the mistake and ordered him home.
Despite pleading with them to contact the British Embassy to try to sort out the mix-up, they bundled him on to a flight back to the UK because he had no valid passport.
Mr Raja said he had been staggered Birmingham International Airport had not noticed he was carrying his sister’s ID, which he had picked up by mistake.
The local businessman questioned how many others had slipped through the net.
He said: ‘It’s frightening. It is a total failure in security and I could have been anyone trying to escape the country.Â
Kasim and his sister: He passed through British customs where they didn’t pick up the mistake but Pakistani officials deported him back to England
‘A terrorist or fugitive could have done something like this and got out of the UK – how many people have slipped through the net like this?Â Â
‘I don’t look anything like my sister, she is five years younger and looks totally different.’
Mr Raja said that he did not believe authorities were taking the situation seriously and called for an investigation.
‘If it was my brother, I could perhaps understand it but they clearly haven’t looked at my passport here,’ he said.
“I don’t think they are taking this very seriously at all and I have spoken to my MP who has promised to look into it.
‘I handed my passport to the check-in desk and boarding desk and they both looked at it without noticing. I also went through the immigration desk without any problems. ‘
Mr Raja had been rushing to catch his flight on December 21 when he accidentally picked up his sister’s ID.
He had been planning to stay in Pakistan for ten days but was flown back to Manchester a day later when foreign security noticed the mistake.
He said yesterday he had flown back on Christmas Day for the rescheduled trip, which had cost him Â£1,000.
A spokesman for Swissport, which handles check-in procedures for Pakistan International Airlines at Birmingham, promised to investigate.
He said: ‘We will be investigating this matter. Obviously it is being taken very seriously and we will look into it.’
* Passing the buck:
A spokeswoman for Birmingham International Airport said: ‘Although the airport company is speaking to Mr Raja and investigating the matter, embarkation controls are the responsibility of airlines, handling agents and the Border Control Agency.’