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Egyptian airport official wanted money to turn a blind eye to luggage, says Essex holidaymaker

PUBLISHED: 16:49 05 November 2015 | UPDATED: 16:49 05 November 2015

Passengers line up to depart from Sharm el-Sheikh Airport on October 31, 2015. (Photo: AP Photo)

Passengers line up to depart from Sharm el-Sheikh Airport on October 31, 2015. (Photo: AP Photo)

A man from Essex has said his experience of lax security at Sharm el-Sheikh’s airport, coupled with the recent air crash in Egypt, has put him off returning to the resort.

Joe Tiley-Walker and his wife Sarah visited Egypt in January last year with friends – but said a member of staff was prepared to accept a bribe in exchange for turning a blind eye to their hand luggage.

Mr Tiley-Walker, from Great Notley, had bought a hookah pipe while on holiday but accidentally packed it in his carry-on bag rather than his main hold luggage.

But when the part-glass object was picked up on airport scanners he was surprised at the reaction from the airport official dealing with him.

“We were brought over to the side by one of these guys,” Mr Tiley-Walker said.

“We thought it was going to be confiscated from us because it was glass and you can’t really take that on board a plane we accepted the point.”

However after being taken to a quieter part of the security area Mr Tiley-Walker said the official told him “in whispered tones” he could get it onto the plane.

“He came up to me and said, ‘How much money have you got’,” he explained. “He was almost asking for me to open my wallet and show him how much money I had.”

Mr Tiley-Walker said the official appeared to want any money to be passed under a desk so it could not be seen.

However when the group declined to part with any cash, because the security queue was getting longer, the man waved them through anyway – complete with hookah pipe.

Following the crash of a plane which took off from Sharm el-Sheikh, which the British government has said may have been brought down by a bomb, Mr Tiley-Walker said the two incidents meant he would not be going back to the resort.

“I would give it a swerve, I would go elsewhere,” he said. “If it does turn out to be that (a bomb) I’m not going to risk it.”

After passing through security to his flight Mr Tiley-Walker said his party remained nervous for the flight, worried about what else may have been brought on board.

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