Anita Turner, 58, used her daughter Rebecca’s passport three times to travel through security checkpoints in Dover and Calais
A mother went on a booze cruise to Belgium and back on her daughter’s passport when Border Force officials failed to spot a dramatic age gap in the document’s photograph.
Anita Turner, 58, used her daughter Rebecca’s passport three times to travel through security checkpoints in Dover and Calais.
The mother-of-two said she was waved on to two ferries – despite the fact her now 30-year-old daughter was just 23 when the passport picture was taken.
Miss Turner, who was travelling abroad on a day trip, said she only realised she had picked up her daughter’s passport when she collected her tickets at the Port of Dover in Kent.
She then decided to continue with her trip to see if Border Force officials would notice the discrepancies in age or name.
Incredibly, Miss Turner was able to board the 9.25am ferry to Calais on January 19 after he passport was checked by staff at the ticket office.
She and five friends then drove to Adinkerke in western Belgium to stock up on cut-price alcohol and cigarettes before making the return journey at 3.20pm.
Officials again failed to spot the 35-year age gap when Miss Turner flashed the document twice in Calais – where it was checked once by French officials and once by Border Force.
The mother-of-two has now slammed Border Force officials for failing to check the passport properly as she boarded the two ferries.
Miss Turner said she only realised she had picked up her daughter’s passport (pictured right with Miss Turner’s passport left) when she collected her tickets at the Port of Dover in Kent
She said: ‘We went down to the docks in the morning. My friend noticed I had the wrong passport when she was about to hand them over to a woman in the booth in order to get our tickets.
‘I thought that would be the end of the trip, I felt awful because I was the driver. But I decided to go ahead even though I knew I wouldn’t get through.
‘But incredibly, the woman accepted it and just told us which lane to get into.’
Miss Turner, of Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, said she was certain that she would be caught on the way back into England.
Miss Turner was then able to travel on a ferry from Dover to Calais – and make the return trip
She said: ‘When we were coming home, I pulled up at the dock and my friend handed over the passports again and everything was okay at the first checkpoint.
‘But then we went to the second one and I thought it would get picked up. So I got there, and the man asked us to wind down our windows so he could see everyone.
‘He took all our passports and read out everyone’s name and had a look at us. When he got to my passport, I didn’t really want to answer when he said Rebecca.
‘I said yes and he looked at my photo then he looked at me and then he started doing something in his booth.
‘But then he just told us which lane to get into. We couldn’t believe it.’
The mother-of-two, who is self-employed, said she couldn’t believe officials had failed to notice the difference between her and Rebecca.
The mother-of-two (pictured right with daughter Rebecca left) has now slammed Border Force officials for failing to check the passport properly as she boarded the two ferries
Miss Turner and five friends drove to Adinkerke in western Belgium to stock up on cut-price alcohol and cigarettes before making the return journey at 3.20pm
She said: ‘We didn’t think I’d get away with it at all. It’s made a mockery of this country that this can happen so easily.
‘What is the world coming too if I can get through on my daughters’ passport?
‘I’m 59 years old in March.’
In November, a staggering report concluded that illegal immigrants were exploiting staff shortages at southern England’s sea ports, including Dover.
David Bolt, the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, said ports were ‘not secured by any stretch of the imagination’.
Managers at Southampton, Dover, Poole and Portsmouth admitted they were understaffed in 2017-18.
The 85-page document also said that over-stretched Border Force officials were not routinely checking car boots and back seats for stowaways.
The mother (left with daughter Rebecca right) said she decided to continue with her trip after noticing she had the wrong passport to see if Border Force officials would notice the discrepancies in age or name
The number of illegal immigrants detected at the ports fell from 1,119 in 2016-17 to 882 in 2017-18, including a drop from 792 to 503 at Dover.
Dover MP Charlie Elphicke said urgent improvements were needed to ensure border security was tightened up.
He said: ‘This worrying incident underlines why we must invest in modernising our borders.
‘We need world class technology capable of ensuring we properly check everyone who is coming in and out of the country.
‘If our borders are not water-tight, criminals will do everything they can to exploit it.’
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘Border Force officers are rigorously trained to prevent those using fraudulent documents from entering the country.
‘Our officers are also involved in the training of airline staff and immigration officers overseas to spot false documents to stop people from even beginning their journey to the UK.
‘Between April 2010 and December 2018 more than 159,000 people were refused entry to the UK, including those refused for travelling on invalid documentation.’