Two women have been arrested by Scotland Yard detectives over an alleged scam involving airside security passes at Heathrow.
The two women, aged 20 and 24, are both thought to work at the airport and were held after police investigating fraud uncovered the suspected misuse of the passes.
Scotland Yard declined to give further details but Heathrow said that it had taken “appropriate action”.
The Department of Transport said that it was also “aware of this issue” and that airport security was kept constantly under review to protect the public.
The incident, revealed by Sky News, is not thought to involve the illegal sale or cloning of passes, but will inevitably raise concerns that any weaknesses could be exploited by terrorists or other criminals.
The alleged scam was discovered after a fraud investigation was launched at the airport two weeks ago. The two women were arrrested on suspicion of fraud and money laundering.
Airside passes are issued to many of Heathrow’s 70,000 workers and can give access to areas of the airport where luggage and cargo is loaded onto planes as well as other sensitive security areas.
Those given the passes are forced to undergo strict vetting and include flight crews, shop and restaurant staff, baggage handlers and those working with cargo or in aircraft hangers.
Scotland Yard confirmed the arrests and said that the two women had been released on bail until November.
A spokesman added: “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 enquiries and form part of the ongoing investigation.”
Heathrow said it was unable to comment on the specifics but had taken “appropriate action” while the police probe continued.
The Department for Transport said: “We are aware of this issue. Safety and security of passengers is our priority