Select Committee on Home Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Annex 23



  1.  In 1993 the first UK Airline Liaison Officer (ALO) was posted to New Delhi on a trial basis. His remit was to reduce the growing numbers of inadequately documented arrivals from that region (See Appendix A). He had responsibility for assisting airlines operating from India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

  2.  The ALO's main task was to provide a comprehensive training programme for airline staff and to attend at the airports to offer advice on whether passengers were properly documented for travel to the UK. He was also to establish good relations with the police and immigration authorities in those countries with a view to their identifying and prosecuting facilitators and racketeers.

  3.  In 1995 a joint IND/FCO review into racketeering recommended that as a result of the success of the ALO role in Delhi, the ALO network should be expanded to a further four locations. In 1996 and 1997 ALOs were placed in Dhaka (Bangladesh), Colombo (Sri Lanka) Accra (Ghana) and Nairobi (Kenya). The original ALO in Delhi was replaced at the end of his tour in 1997.

  4.  In 1998 a Home Office Review recommended that the network should be further expanded to a total of 20 ALOs. Locations were selected primarily on the basis of the number of inadequately documented passengers arriving in the UK. The current network was completed with the postings of ALO Amman, Beijing and Cairo in the first quarter of 2000. A list of the 20 ALO locations is attached as Appendix B.

  5.  In 1998 airlines operating from the five locations noted at paragraph 4 denied carriage to 2,095 prospective passengers who were not adequately documented for the UK. In 1999, 4,990 IDAs were denied by airlines at 17 ALO locations. 12 of these were new locations and the posts were filled at various times over the course of the year.

  6.  In October 1998 the International Air Transport Association Control Authority Working Group (IATA/CAWG) published a code of conduct for Immigration Liaison Officers. The code was drafted by the UK and ratified by the 17 national control authorities that are CAWG members.

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