300 Staff Security Passes Suspended in Heathrow Airport Alert

A plane coming in to land at Heathrow
An airliner comes in to land at Heathrow Airport, London, England, August 11, 2014. It is understood that a fraud investigation has triggered an inquiry into airside passes. Peter Macdiarmid/Getty

The Metropolitan Police have launched an investigation into a scam involving airside security passes at Heathrow Airport, in London.

Three hundred staff working for Sodexo, which supplies airline lounge services have had their passes suspended, Sky News reports.

Those affected are said mostly to be cleaners or caterers.

The police investigation was launched following the arrest of two women at the airport over alleged fraud. The pair, who are aged 20 and 24, and from Surrey, near London, were held on suspicion of money laundering and fraud on August 3 after money was taken from a bank account belonging to a private individual.

It is understood that the fraud investigation then triggered an inquiry into airside passes.

Scotland Yard stressed that there is no terrorism link and that there is no evidence that staff airside passes have been sold.

A Met Police spokesman said: "Officers from the Met's Aviation Policing Command are investigating an allegation of fraud, reported to them on July 28.

"Detectives arrested two women from Surrey, aged 24 and 20, on suspicion of fraud and money laundering on August 3.

"They have been arrested in relation to an allegation that money has been fraudulently taken from a bank account.

"Other matters have come to light during the inquiries and form part of the ongoing investigation."

Scotland Yard said the women have been released on bail until late November.

A spokesman for Heathrow Airport said: "Our top priority is the security and safety of our passengers and colleagues and we have taken appropriate action until the investigation is completed."