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Illegal luggage searches could have been conducted by border officials at one of Britain's busiest airports, without the passengers' knowledge.
Over 1,000 pieces of luggage were seized at Birmingham Airport in the year to September.
However, Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration John Vine said there was no record of the instances in which these searches did not result in a successful seizure.
Because of this, there is no way of knowing the total number of searches conducted in the period, and whether border staff were breaching passengers' rights.
A report has found that border officials at Birmingham Airport could have been carrying out illegal bag searches, without the passengers' knowledge.
It said: "Despite the fact that the current Border Force enforcement handbook guidance prohibited this activity, staff confirmed they were carrying out covert baggage searches."
A Border Force spokesman said:
Illegal luggage searches could have been conducted by border officials at Birmingham Airport without the passengers' knowledge.
The Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration says that although more than 1000 pieces of luggage were searched between January and September last year, there is no record of how many searches did not result in a seizure.
It is therefore impossible to check if border staff have breached passengers rights.