Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Belfast airport staff find axe, sword and knives in Armagh woman’s bag

A 22-year-old Northern Ireland woman has been questioned after a bag containing an axe and a sword was seized at Belfast International Airport.

Border Force officers launched an investigation after the “potentially lethal” weapons were discovered on May 9.

The haul of weapons was uncovered after officers stopped and searched the baggage of a passenger arriving in Belfast from London, and who had travelled there from the USA.

It included an axe, a sword, and an assortment of other knives, all of which were described as “potentially lethal”.

A UK Border Agency and Border Force statement said a 22 -year-old woman from Co Armagh, who was questioned about the weapons, was cautioned and released while inquiries continue.

John Spence, from Border Force at Belfast International Airport, reminded passengers of travel restrictions.

“It is illegal to bring knives and weapons into Northern Ireland from overseas — just because you can legally buy an item while abroad does not mean you can legally bring it into the UK,” he said. “We are determined to prevent lethal weapons reaching our streets and ignorance of the law is no defence. Whether you are trying to deliberately smuggle weapons into (the region) or simply unaware of the controls in place, if you are found breaking the law by carrying banned knives and offensive weapons then you will be stopped, the weapons will be seized and you may face prosecution.”

Anyone caught in possession of a weapon banned in the UK may be charged with illegal importation of a prohibited weapon under Section 170(2) of the Customs & Excise Management Act 1979. Penalties for this can include custodial sentences.

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