BIRMINGHAM Airport police confiscated £30,000 of cash from a passenger – hidden in nappies.
The seizure came during a week-long blitz on crime at the bustling terminal, where officers also seized more than £20,000 found hidden in two separate suitcases.
Cash totalling £73,000 was confiscated from people travelling abroad between October 15 to 19.
No-one has been arrested at this stage but investigations are ongoing.
Daily operations took place with a particular emphasis on people carrying large amounts of cash which may have originated from proceeds of crime or destined to support terrorist activities
Specialist police dogs − trained to detect large quantities of cash – were used to check hold and hand luggage as passengers queued at check-in desks.
Travellers carrying large amounts of money are advised to have the correct supporting documentation such as bank statements to prove the authenticity of the cash.
Inspector Chris Cotton, who manages the Airport Policing Unit for West Midlands Police, said: “We work extremely closely with all areas of the airport, and passenger safety is paramount for us both.
“Our message is clear, if you come to Birmingham Airport to commit crime − we will find you and arrest you.
“Last month we launched Project Servator adopting new specialist tactics aimed at tackling a range of criminal activity, including terrorism, at Birmingham Airport.
“The tactics are designed to deter, detect and disrupt a range of crime, whilst reassuring members of the public.
“This week has seen daily deployments around the entire airport with uniformed and plain-clothed police officers specially trained to identify anyone wanting to commit crime.
“They are supported by specialist police resources such as search dogs and armed officers. CCTV and vehicle checkpoints are also used to keep people safe and secure.”
With the national threat of terrorism remaining ‘severe’, tackling terrorism is paramount and officers from the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit were also visible during the operation.
Detective Chief Superintendent Matt Ward heads West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit. He said: “ Here in the West Midlands, Birmingham Airport is our main border and so we must use all resources at our disposal to not only combat crime but have a very visible presence to prevent terrorism.
“It is a very joined-up approach at the airport – it’s not only police officers that keep the public safe but also airport staff who work across a whole range of functions.
“We provide training and advice for lots of roles here from staff who check travellers into their flights to cleaning staff − they know what to look out for and can be our extra eyes and ears on the ground.
“The national ACT campaign −‘Action Counters Terrorism’ from CT Policing has helped educate the public about terrorist attack planning and reinforces the message that any piece of information, no matter how small, could make the difference between a lethal attack or a successful disruption.”
Bob Graham, Operations Director at Birmingham Airport said: “We fully support our on-site policing unit in its day to day activities and work actively with the team on initiatives.
“Our joint number one priority is to ensure that all passengers and visitors that visit the Airport feel safe and secure.”
Anyone who sees anything that doesn’t feel right should report it to an officer or by emailing email@example.com