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Police Stop Plane Taking Off To Arrest Child Abduction Suspect

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Police Stop Plane Taking Off To Arrest Child Abduction Suspect

A plane that was preparing to take off from Heathrow Airport was stopped on the runway by police in a bid to arrest someone on board.

Officers stopped the taxiing aircraft following a report that a man had taken a four-year-old girl without her mother's permission. He was arrested on suspicion of child abduction.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

According to Sky News, Nottinghamshire Police received the report, leading to cops tracking the car in which the man was travelling to London.

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They then used border checks to see where the suspect was heading and found that he was booked on a flight to Bucharest, the Romanian capital, which was due to depart from Heathrow at 6pm on Friday (12 February).

Detective Sergeant Ruth Walker explained: "When the report came in it was a race against the clock to find them. The plane was taxiing ready for take-off, but we were able to get there just in time before it took flight. The plane then returned to the terminal and the man was arrested.

"This was a hugely complex and challenging case, with its obvious pressures."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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The man, 32, was arrested on suspicion of child abduction and was later released on bail pending further inquiries.

The girl was successfully reunited with her mother.

Travellers have been advised that they can do their bit when it comes to preventing human trafficking - in fact, it's believed they might be more likely to spot something suspicious than airport staff.

If you do suspect anything out of the ordinary, you can alert airport authorities but it's been advised that people shouldn't approach the suspect or suspected victim.

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Alternatively, if you're in the air, you should speak to an air steward who will be able to tell the pilot to contact ground authorities. Internationally, a report can be made online via Crime Stoppers International.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

According to CNN, warning signs to look out for include:

  • Traveller's clothing - they may have very few or no personal items and the victims are expected to be less well-dressed than the people they're with. They might be wearing the wrong size clothing or clothing that is inappropriate for the weather/the weather in the country they're travelling to.
  • The person is alone and doesn't seem to know who is meeting them on arrival.
  • Tattoos such as bar codes, bags of money, a crown and the words 'Daddy' or 'Property of' - it's believed that traffickers or pimps mark their victims.
  • Communication seems scripted or there are inconsistencies in their story (such as victim's name or age).
  • The person seems like they cannot move freely in the airport or on the aircraft.
  • They come across as though they're scared of uniformed security
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Travelling by aeroplane may seem a long way off for many of us, however, with all but essential international travel currently not permitted by the Home Office.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, News, UK

Rebecca Shepherd
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