A 9-year-old British girl was able to get by a Turkish customs agent last month with a toy passport that identified her as a unicorn, raising some serious questions about security and international travel.
Emily Harris and her family arrived at Turkey's Antalya airport May 28 for a family vacation and handed over their passports at the security checkpoint. The agent stamped all of them and let them through. It wasn’t until they got outside that Harris' mom Nicky realized she had accidentally handed over her daughter's Design-A-Bear toy passport.
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"I didn't realize until I was putting the passports away
," Nicky Harris told the South Wales Argus. "There was a moment of panic when I thought someone would come chasing after us, but nothing."
The toy passport doesn’t even resemble one from the U.K., Nicky Harris said. What's more, it has a large photo of a stuffed unicorn with stats such as "Hair color: Purple" and "Eye color: Black."
"The passport doesn’t even look real ― it's got gold teddy bears on the front and was a completely different size from mine and my husband, Allen's."
Harris said she and her family were amused by what happened but were also concerned.
"We saw the funny side and laughed at the fact that the officer had even stamped the passport," she said, "but at the same time, it’s a worry to any parent how easy it would be to smuggle a child through customs and into another country."
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