UK immigration officer fired for putting wife on ‘no-fly’ list
Woman stuck for three years in Pakistan
Ever since anti-terrorist “no-fly” lists were implemented in the years following the 9/11 attacks, critics have aired concerns about people being unjustly denied the ability to fly, and about the prospect of government agents abusing the ability to ground travelers.
Now a revelation from the British government suggests those fears aren’t unfounded.
According to the Home Office, the department in charge of internal security in the UK, an immigration officer decided to get rid of his wife by placing her on a “no-fly” list.
The Daily Mirror reported that the officer’s wife traveled to Pakistan to visit relatives, but when she arrived at the airport to come home to Britain, she was told she could not board the plane and officials would not reveal why.
The woman ended up stranded in Pakistan for three years as a result, the Daily Mail reported.
“She obviously thought her husband, being an immigration officer, would be able to find out what was going on,” a source inside the immigration office told the Mirror. “Little did she know it was him who had put her on the list. By all accounts he then had the time of his life.”
What’s more, Home Office officials didn’t discover the fraudulent listing until the immigration agent, whom the British government didn’t name, was put up for promotion and a review of his work uncovered his wife’s name on a no-fly list.
The officer confessed to altering the list and was fired for “gross misconduct,” the Home Office stated.
He reportedly worked at the immigration bureau’s head office near London, where he was part of a group responsible for updating government security lists.
A Home Office spokesman said the British government takes all allegations of misconduct seriously.
“On the extremely rare occasions where this occurs, the strongest action is taken,” the spokesman said.