|Tracey questions Border Agency's decision|
In May of this year one of the FBI's most wanted was arrested in Victoria Road, Chatham, Kent. Sean
Lopes who was wanted for kidnap and attempted murder and was convicted in absentia to 15 years in Prison had been on the run since 2005. Lopes has been in the UK for several years and even got a job at Gravesend Sainsbury's as a night manager - all under his name.
Local MP Tracey Crouch had written to the Home Secretary, Theresa May to request details on how he managed to get past the Border Agency and customs. Her request has been turned down as it would be in violation of the Data Protection act.
This is interesting as the Data Protection act is there to protect an individual's personal information held by any agency or company. This however should be void in this case for two reasons.
Firstly it is part of an investigation, possibly criminal as he may have fraudulently entered the country and used a fake passport.
Secondly, it is not accessing personal information. The request was for information on how he entered the country and got passed customs rather than an invasion of his privacy and his life.
I share Tracey's concerns that a wanted man who has kidnapped and attempted murder has managed to slip past the Boarder agency's radar and live openly in Chatham.
The failure of entry officers to stop this fugitive potentially could have put my constituents, and others at risk from an extremely dangerous man and I shall be writing again to the Home Secretary to make this point. - Tracey Crouch MP
The good news is that no one was hurt or killed in this slip up but there remains the possibility that they could have and in the interests of Public safety these questions should be asked and answered as part of a general investigation into this case. The Border Agency needs to look at this apparent loop hole immediately to examine how easy it really is and how stringently they do their background checks on those immigrating to this country.
One is forced to wonder are the Border Agency keeping a lid on what has happened until they have done a thorough internal sweep for information, in which case they should just answer the letter with that fact.
The case will continue but let's hope that Tracey is answered by the Agency and a thorough investigation is conducted.
(Also - Happy Birthday to Tracey too!)