back to article Brazilian cleaner spots security hole in Heathrow e-borders

The arrest of yet another illegal immigrant working at the House of Commons has revealed an unexpected vulnerability in the Home Office's plan to secure the UK's borders. What if they arrive at Heathrow and just run for it? Brazilian woman Elaine Chaves Aperecida appears to have hit on something akin to this splendidly old- …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If we don't let Chavs clean the important peoples' place, who else is going to do it?

  2. Steve Browne

    You got to laugh !!

    Absolutely hilarious. I think she should be given a visa and allowed to stay indefinitely.

    She has done an invaluable service to this country, she has exposed a fool proof way for Al Quaeda to breach our national borders and she has also shown how worthless ID cards will be. After all, she was given a pass to allow her into Parliament, which one might think would be somewhat secure.

    HMG: 0 Brazilian Cleaning Ladies: 1

  3. Chris Hawkins

    The Key to this matter

    Actually, Chaves is the Portuguese word for keys.....This might help unlock this matter.......

    ...Hat & Coat......

  4. Aaron Harris
    Black Helicopters


    How was she getting paid, if she didn't even have a valid pass from the cleaning company? Is such voluntary work (Slavery) a new policy from the gov.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    I thought that........

    the standard UK penalty for being a Brazilian illegal immigrant was to have your skull ventilated by SO19

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Running away from UK police... actually quite dangerous when you're Brazilian!

    Has anybody seen my unseasonable heavy coat? Ta!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now that's a new one...

    ... Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Well done to her.

  8. Steve

    Why is she cleaning?

    I thought they were supposed to be selling drugs to our women and eating our babies or some such.

    How about every time one of these people manages to get around security we give them amnesty, sack whoever they managed to outwit to get in and then give the immigrant a job in security responsible for stopping the method they used.

    We could extend this to anyone who thinks that they've found a totally novel way to get in can turn themselves into the government to claim their amnesty and fat government pay cheque. Net result: only the truly ingenious and creative people get in to the country - the rest have to stay in France as an incentive.

  9. The Other Steve
    Paris Hilton

    WTF ?

    "...officials seem not to know where she got the pass or to whom it had been issued in the first place"

    Every security pass I've ever carried has had two things in common, they all bore a picture of my face, and my name. Sometimes more, but never less.

    This seems to suggest that despite all the TWaT hysteria that our 'representatives' foist upon us, those within parliament still don't really believe the threat sufficiently to implement even the basics of a door entry system such as one might find in any mid size corporation.

    I mean seriously, even if this is something like the temporary blank 'contractor' pass you get issued when you get to work and realise you left your key card in your other pants, someone would have had to enter the card in the system originally, abd to set the timeout.

    Unless these idiots genuinely just turn out piles of the damn things and leave them in a basket at the security desk for anyone who wants to take a handful.

    I refuse completely (foolish, I know) to believe that anyone could truly be that incompetent by accident. This absolutely stinks of MPs rigging the system for their own convenience.

    Another instance of them exempting themselves from the checks and balances they seek to impose on the rest of us ?

    Paris, because even she's not that stupid.

  10. JimC

    > a door entry system such as one might find in any mid size corporation.

    Funnily enough access for cleaners is a hole in most company systems I've seen in operation...

  11. Joe

    Understand the system!

    They probably got into the same frame of mind that the security guards at a local college did - they think their job is to *make sure everybody had a pass*.

    So if you have a card you can just swipe it and waltz through - they never check who the person using the card is, so anyone who finds or borrows or steals a card can get in to the building as easily as any other student.

    But if you forget your card they will check your details (with photo) on their database (which proves who you are) - but then you will have to *buy another card*.

    It's classic function creep, but in humans. The goal shifted from "make sure only authorised people enter the building" to "make sure only people holding a valid card enter the building".

    I suspect the security guards in Parliament aren't the elite of their profession, either. As my dad always said, "you buy cheap, you buy twice!"

  12. Andy Taylor

    I used to have a Parliamentary pass

    I seem to remember that the application form was quite detailed, asking for all sorts of personal information. One of the questions was:

    "Are you or have you ever been a member of a terrorist organisation? - Answer Yes or No, if yes, please provide details".

    I wonder how many terrorists they catch with that one?

  13. Steve Evans

    Good greif...

    How did these idiots get to run a country, they can't even implement basic security!

  14. Billy Goat Gruff

    biometrics have a point

    You know, biometric ID cards do have a point.... as long as they are not made universal and don't replace existing systems such as passports, driving licenses etc.

    I think 'goal shifted to having a valid card' is spot on and a security system that relies on humans looking at photographs is prone to failure through boredom.

    A fingerprint system would emphasise the point that it's just a valid card but with a little, cheap biometric fingerprint reader just to catch out blatant card-swapping.

    It wouldn't be fool proof, and the security staff would rely on the bleeps and alarms it to say if the card, and not the person, is valid, but it would be better security.

    It would also be nice if the MPs could proof-test the system for us since if the biometric companies are going to please anybody it's going to the the people making the decision, and similarly it's good for the technophobes amongst them to know what a hassle life will be should they foist it upon 60 million people.

  15. JP Bonello
    Thumb Up


    LOL now thats funny :)

  16. Daniel Wilkie

    @Steve Evans

    Because some muppets voted for them, again and again :p

  17. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  18. Jared Earle

    Jedi Mind Trick

    Sometimes, when I don't have time to revalidate my travel pass before the weekend, I need to use it to get into town so I can buy an update. I find as long as I wave something resembling a photo pass, I can get past all three checks with a Jedi Mind Trick. That's a bus driver, a train inspector and the wall of inspectors in the station. It got to the point I stopped showing them my valid pass, just to see how far I could get before having to show them the real one. I gave up when I realised I'd never be stopped, even if I was showing an out of date ticket to the wrong zones with a mate's photo on it.

    They don't even care if it's a valid pass any more, as long as it resembles something close to one. These are actually the droids you're looking for, you chimps.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ...requires an NI number for tax purposes? So how'd she get paid? Are cleaning staff in parliament getting paid cash-in-hand as a tax dodge?

  20. Peter Kay

    Ticket inspectors are more clued up, up north..

    Here, they've spotted more than once, when I've shown the ticket from the day before by accident..

    (of course, on other occasions they have not..)

  21. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    @Billy Goat Gruff

    But how does the door check that the biometrics of the person holding the card is the same as the person the card is for?

    It would work (in as much as universal biometrics *can* work) that way but the government seems to have a hardon for having the biometrics stored centrally rather than on the card to be checked locally.


    Dunno, why's Paris so hot for sex?

  22. Gordon

    It happened in 2004.

    If you read the article she actually broke into the country in 2004. This is before the 7/7 bombings took place, when Britain was a less nervy place. If she did this today she'd probably be tracked on CCTV, chased by armed police and finally, reluctantly* be gunned down if she didn't respond to the shouts of "Armed Police - Remain still".

    * Reluctantly on their part. Reluctance on HER part kinda goes without saying.

  23. Andy Bright


    We need people like this.. immediately naturalise her and then offer her a position in the England football team. I'm thinking left back or at last someone with some sound decision making skills to partner John Terry.

    See the absolute genius part about this story is not only did she show some front in just running away, but donning cleaning gear and blending in proves her planning and organisational skills are pretty impressive too.

    Then to think "fuck it, if they're that shit I might as well go work somewhere that should be one of the most secure buildings in the country", was just icing on the cake.

    I think for sheer front she should be given citizenship immediately. And given the complete shower of a generation we have coming through right now, we could use a few more imports like this.

    Fuck it, phone up someone important in Brazil and let them know anyone that's willing to do a decent day's work can come to this country, with one provision. They have to prove they can get past security and immigration without documentation.

    We can make room by kicking out a dozen hoodied, chav-speaking yoofs for each one we give a passport to.

  24. Mike Silver badge

    PhotoID datapoint

    A friend's uncle showed up for work at a shipyard for two years, during WWII, with the photo on his ID card replaced with one of Adolph Hitler. (Ooops, Godwin. :-)

    (No, it was not an _Axis_ shipyard. Here's your coat)

  25. Billy Goat Gruff


    the card stores the digital signature of the fingerprint, and is compared to the one generated by the finger print reader. both are created by a laptop/card printer at a secure location (using the password 'TEST', accessible through a Windows exploit on the IIS server and backed up on CDs which are randomly sent through the post to dodgy job applicants).

    cheap and cheerful.This is not an ID register, just a place where biometric cards are more useful than photographs as long as you realise their purpose is to validate the card rather than the person.

    Easily bypassed by terrorists and journalists but hey, that just means the ministers for big brother would get a few more jeers from their own side when they announce a foolproof ID biometric system...

    As someone said, if a person can get into HP then they should be rewarded with, perhaps, a years free membership to the commons restaurant. And, perhaps in that time the person might strike up a few conversations with MPs about how the ID card system is futile.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    AC... Doesn't the Met police save its bullets for *legal* Brazilian migrants?

    They don't even have the decency to use tax payers' bullet money to good purpose.

  27. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton

    Summed neatly thus

    Ask me no questions: believe only what you see!

  28. Gavin Steven


    .......Just like the MPs then.

  29. Gerhard den Hollander

    paying the cleaning lady

    She got paid just as all the other cleaning ladies.

    The gov-ment pays the cleaning agency (N hours x M cleaners x X pounds) the cleaning agency then pays the cleaners (usually cash in hand, and usually a lot less then the X pounds/person/hour )

  30. Adam Williamson


    The reason they print those apparently stupid questions on application forms, immigration landing cards etc is not because they ever expect anyone to answer "yes" (although I'm sure some joker has done, "for a laugh", at some point, and regretted it both bitterly and at length), but so that if you say "no" and they at some point later find out that you should've said "yes", they can do you for lying about it in a sworn official document. Authorities always like to have lots of different charges they can pin on someone, it reduces the chances of their wriggling out of all of them.

  31. Marty


    "AC... Doesn't the Met police save its bullets for *legal* Brazilian migrants?"

    if that was in ref to Jean-Charles de Menezes, I quote the following,

    "Almost immediately after the shooting it was reported that Jean-Charles de Menezes was an illiegal alien, his visa to remain in the UK having expired in 2003. It was also later reported that a stamp on his passport showing that he had 'indefinite leave to remain' in the UK had been forged.

    This news has, to all intents and purposes, disappeared. The leftist media will criticise the police at all times and under all circumstances, so their lack of focus on the victim's possible criminality is entirely predictable."

  32. Norman


    Two points for you all to think about.

    MP's are not security vetted prior to being elected.

    Don't know why.

    I was once asked to complete a form for a pass to enter police stations.

    The form was mainly asking name, address and details of any criminal convictions.

    If one day in the future, they found out that I didn't tell the truth, I was liable to a £2000 fine and a criminal conviction.

    They couldn't understand why I laughed.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Clean up Aisle 4 !!

    There's been a spill in the house of commons!

    Mine's the ermine and spotted vole thanks!

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    "The leftist media will criticise the police at all times and under all circumstances, so their lack of focus on the victim's possible criminality is entirely predictable."

    Oh shit! The vast left-wing conspiracy has managed to elide the fact that the victim, having been "illegal" (though without anyone knowing), actually exonerates the perps for their total communication breakdown and general tactical retardedness. Great job.

  35. Barry Rueger

    How quaint

    "...requires an NI number for tax purposes? So how'd she get paid? Are cleaning staff in parliament getting paid cash-in-hand as a tax dodge?"

    Oh dear. Once upon a time the people who maintained government buildings were employed by the government. They received good wages, benefits, and a nice pension after forty years.

    Then came the Thatcher/Reagan era when all things government were Bad, and all things Private Sector were Good. That begat Outsourcing, and Downsizing, and Rightsizing, all of which were synonyms for "Fire our well paid employees and subcontract their jobs to the lowest bidder".

    Strangely enough the lowest bidder often also pays the lowest wages, offers no benefits, and no pension. And of course doing proper employee and security screening costs money that really would be better returned to shareholders.

    In practice no-one in any building anywhere has more access, and more unsupervised access, than the cleaning staff. It amazes me that so few companies ever seem to consider this gaping hole in their security practices.

  36. Rob
    Thumb Down


    You say Jean-Charles de Menezes was illegal and quote some random blog as proof.

    I say he was legal and quote the IPCC 'Stockwell One' report.

    "Evidence emerged during the course of the criminal trial into the Health and Safety charge that Mr de Menezes was lawfully in the country on 22 July 2005." : page 24 footnote 4

    Just because the Home Office initially said they had no record of his 'indefinite leave to remain' visa does not necessarily mean it was faked.

    I went to get my indefinite leave visa transfered to a new passport, in person at the Home Office, and they could find no record of me existing, let alone any record of the various visas I had been issued with in the 10 yrs I was in the UK even though the proof was in front of them in my old passport. Its only took them a few months to sort out their mistake.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Train tickets

    I spent two months using the london underground with a ticket that had no writing on it. The ink fell off (gold crds seem todo this). For some reason it wouldnot go through the strip reader on the gates. So showed it to the checkers to let me through . I was stopped 3 times .. all 3 times i just blagged my way through.

    Why did i not get a renewal ... the ink had fallen off and thus they could not read it to issue a new one . Work supples the ticket and the ticket office did not except letter from train line it as a valid proof of purchase. You cant get a new ticket till u hand the old one in and i used it for 2 ungraound trips aday (catch 22). Soloution was to blag it . till new ticket came

  38. Perpetual Cyclist

    We are toast...

    I used to work at a secure military establishment. There was a sweepstake to see who could get passed security with least ID. The winning pass was lightly grilled and eaten with butter for lunch.

  39. Matt


    Thanks @Rob for sorting him out. It's these kind of lies which the police were in trouble for spreading.

    It's also worth remembering that they didn't know he was even an immigrant, the police thought he was someone else, so next time it could be anyone who lives in or visits the UK, legally or otherwise.

    On the subject of MPs: Why get so excited? They're only elected representatives, we can always choose some others. Don't give in to their vanity. Certainly they should be protected, but no more than anyone else.

  40. Gordon

    All very well

    It's all very well having a laugh. But the day you get bundled to the floor with a size-12 boot on your neck and a gun barrel in your ear, all the humour goes out of it.

  41. Matthew

    The 'bucket of passes'...

    Before 11/9 this actually did used to happen at Heathrow. I understand that it used to be quite common that *somebody* would turn up to do the job, and that as long as the work was OK nobody used to care if the name/picture matched.

    In some families it was used as a way to unofficially jobshare and earn more overtime by doing more hours.

  42. Chris Cheale



    Why get so excited? They're only elected representatives, we can always choose some others.


    Because the alternatives are all so much better - execute the 700+ useless numpties in parliament currently and start again. I reckon amanfromMars should be the first benevolent dictator of the UK - talks less bs than the tossers doing the job currently.

    The old anarchist adage still holds true, "no matter who you vote for, the government always gets in."

  43. Anonymous Coward

    @ mat & rob

    I bet you will be the ones shouting for the release of Huntly if it turns out his meetings with his solicitors were snooped on...

    Indeed, Jean-Charles de Menezes may or may not have been in the country legally, but at the time of the shooting it was reported he was not legal. the police at the time belived he was not legal, the information was as inacurate as the information that lead to the gulf war... The outcome, someone was shot. You can blame the police, you can blame the government, part of the blame must lie with the people who blew up the underground or flew jets into the WTC. are you supprised there was some nervous people pointing the guns...

    mine is the bullet proof one !!!!!

  44. Philip

    @Andy Taylor - Stupid Questions & Catching Terrorists

    I seem to think that a question akin to "Are you or have you ever been a member of a terrorist organisation? - Answer Yes or No, if yes, please provide details." persist. Such outrageously funny questions most definitely appear on the USA visa form... Something like "Have you ever committed moral turpitude?" is obviously gonna get you deported to Guantanamo Bay in an instant - assuming that is the information get processed by anyone other than an illegal immigrant to start with.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    De Menezes

    "...the police at the time belived he was not legal..."

    No they didn't. They didn't even know they were shooting a Brazilian. They thought he was *someone else* and so De Menezes' actual immigration status is largely irrelevant in whether the operational officers should have shot him.

    Though if you beleive being an immigrant who's overstayed their visa is cause for shooting, then you might be interested in some swap country I have for sale.

    Paris because she knows about Brazilians and shooting.

  46. Rob

    I'd vote for her.. become PM. Think of it government policies built on common sense!

  47. DaveT


    "are you supprised there was some nervous people pointing the guns"

    Aren't they trained to do this kind of thing? I think I'd prefer them to be calm, professional and restrained.

  48. Anonymous Coward

    long and short.....

    the police thought he was someone else, a case of mistaken identity... he did look like the guy the police had identified as the target, to a point.....

    If the dude was ilegal, then he should not have been where he was to get shot in the first place. If he was leagal, then its still nothing more than a case of mistaken identity....

    'amryfusedd acha 'r ochra chan rhybuddia' is my motto....

    chloddia ydy 'r ffagla braw hun ag 'r bwled chreuau

  49. Mark

    Re: long and short.....

    The long and short is that if they didn't know he was him, then his status as illegal alien whether true or not is irrelevant: if he'd been legally here, they STILL misidentified him and still would have shot him. And being misidentified is a crime punishable by death???

    The only way his status as resident makes any relevance to the issue is if they knew who he was and decided that he was an illegal alien and needed to be brought down.

  50. Shakje

    If the police are pointing guns nervously...

    then they shouldn't have the responsibility of guns. They are trained to follow orders to the letter, and not to be nervous. In fact, that they pushed him to the floor, stood on him, and executed him suggests that there was nothing nervous about their actions at all.

  51. Anonymous Coward

    @ If the police are pointing guns nervously...

    i read the comment not as litteral.... the finger on the trigiggers may not directly meen the person holding the gun, but the person making the order to fire

  52. dreadful scathe
    Thumb Down

    @anonymous coward

    he looked nothing whatsoever like the guy who they were looking for...have you even seen the pics ? They both looked male and had the right number of ears, eyes and noses...but there the similarity ends.

  53. Anonymous Coward


    > They are trained to follow orders to the letter...

    You completely misunderstand the legal basis for the use of force (including lethal force) by police officers.

    The responsibility (and therefore the decision) must be that of the officer actually shooting... an officer cannot be ordered even to arrest another, far less shoot him/her: the officer's authority comes directly from his/her appointment as a Crown servant (NB - police officers are NOT public servants).

    So, whilst everything set out in the Stockwell Report is relevant and valid, you have to focus on what was known/believed by the firearms officers themselves. They thought they were removing an immediate and very real threat to life from a bomb-carrying terrorist... end of story, and of the unfortunate deceased subject.

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