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Old man in van smashes his way into Brisbane Airport

July 1, 2013 Airport, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Police are investigating a security breach at Brisbane Airport involving an 76-year-old  man who drove a van straight through security gates, knocking them down, and then roared onto the tarmac.

Brisbane’s Sunday Mail said the man and his van appeared to have made it to the other side of a runway before being stopped by security patrols.

The paper noted that Australian Federal Police, in charge of security at airports, were categorising the breach as “minor” – but anyone ramming his way into the restricted area of an airport in such a manner could pose a risk, to put it mildly.

An AFP spokeswoman confirmed that a 76-year-old Brisbane man was helping police with their inquiries.

The spokeswoman would not comment on how close the van came to the runway.

A witness said he saw the man and his van surrounded by AFP officers and security guards after the van ripped the gates off their hinges and destroyed them. The witness said the man had driven right onto the airport and “ended up on the other side of the runway”. The driver’s motives are unknown.

In Victoria yesterday, a 41-year-old Warrnambool man crashed his four-wheel-drive through the front doors of a local police station and leapt out into the station before being subdued with capsicum spray and arrested. He has been charged with 20 offences but there has been no suggestion of any link with the Brisbane incident.

AFP officers were already busy at the weekend on an entirely separate, travel-related case. A 50-year-old American was busted at Sydney Airport, allegedly carrying about eight kilograms of cocaine in his suitcases.

The American was selected by Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) officers for a baggage examination, after flying in from Auckland, the AFP said.

“The officers X-rayed the man’s suitcases and noticed anomalies in their bases. They further examined the bases of the suitcases and noticed they were covered in a black resin and a foam-like substance.

“Presumptive testing of the suitcases showed positive results for cocaine.”

The AFP have charged the man with one count of importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, namely cocaine, contrary to section 307.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995.

The substance will be tested to determine its exact weight and purity.

The maximum penalty is life imprisonment and/or a AUD 1.275 million fine.

Written by Peter Needham

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