Man Held Over Passport Theft

A man is being held in connection with the theft of 3,000 blank passports and visas from a security van in Manchester.

The documents, which were being delivered to RAF Northolt for delivery to embassies abroad, were stolen after the van driver stopped at a newsagent's shop on route to his destination on Monday at around 6.40am.

A statement released by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said: "The Citroen van stopped on Long Lane, just before 6.40am on Monday 28 July 2008 and the driver got out to go into a shop, leaving a second deliveryman with the van.

"The deliveryman was then attacked by an unknown offender who drove the van a short distance to an unmarked road. The robber then got out and escaped."

It is understood that no weapons were used in the theft.

A 48-year-old man from Oldham has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit robbery and is currently in police custody.

The Foreign Office has stated that there has been a "serious breach of security over the loss of the documents".

The non-armoured vehicle was carrying out the job for a private company on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

However, the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) has said that the passports contain a microchip which renders the passports "unusable".

GMP are appealing for witnesses to the robbery to come forward.

See: Passport Thefts Slammed


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