With most airport security as tough as it’s ever been and officials receiving backlash because of their stern policies, it’s hard to believe that a child could make it through customs at any terminal with a fake passport. But that’s exactly what one child did at Antalya airport in Turkey recently.
According to Caters, 9-year old Emily Harris of South Wales had a passport she’d made up for her stuffed unicorn with her during a trip with her parents, and somehow it got switched with her own. The scary thing is, no one ever noticed, and the passport got stamped and cleared with nary a word from airport officials.
“I didn’t realise until I was putting the passports away,” Emily’s mom, Nicky said. “There was a moment of panic when I thought someone would come chasing after us, but nothing. We saw the funny side, and laughed at the fact that the officer had even stamped the passport. But at the same time, it’s a worry to any parent, how easy it would be to smuggle a child through customs and into another country. The man even asked Emily how old she was, and she told him nine, before he stamped it.”
The passport cover has a gold teddy bear on the front and the photo inside is of the stuffed unicorn; the booklet is even a different shape and size from the ones her parents handed over at customs, yet she was allowed to go through. Harris says the passport is from a build-your-own-toy shop.
So far, the airport hasn’t released a statement about the incident.