US, UK in crisis talks over man smuggling 80 guns on flights from US

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

LONDON - British and American authorities have reportedly had crisis talks after dozens of handguns were smuggled into the UK on passenger flights from the United States.

Serious flaws in trans-atlantic aviation security were exposed by the arrest of private security consultant Steven Greenoe, who is accused of trafficking more than 80 guns in his hold luggage.

Security staff stopped the 37-year-old American on at least one occasion when screening detected “multiple firearms” in his suitcases - but was able to talk his way on to a flight from Atlanta to Manchester, The Courier Mail reports.

US court papers obtained by The (London) Times show he is accused of delivering the weapons to criminal contacts in the UK’s North West.

Greenoe was arrested in Raleigh, North Carolina, in July, with 16 pistols in his suitcases, after police recovered a number of new handguns in Britain.

He was allegedly able to exploit relatively lax security at his local airport, Raleigh-Durham international, by dismantling the guns and distributing the parts among several suitcases.

On each trip the cases were checked on to a domestic flight to Atlanta then transferred to a Delta transatlantic flight to Manchester.

One source told The Times: “This situation calls for an urgent reassessment of airport security in the States.” (ANI)

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