The journey down to LHR had taken quite a while even with their flashing lights clearing a path for them as they went. He’d been dropped near the team’s offices, leaving the driver to find somewhere to park and to follow when he could. He’d hardly stepped through the office door before the D.I. in charge of that shift’s operation was filling him in on what they knew.
“He’s only booked on the one flight that we know of … TA1415. It’s not due to leave for another couple of hours yet. There are no bookings in the name of Johnson. Well, not with that ID number anyway. As you suggested, we can’t rule out him using another ID, so I’ve got four men monitoring cameras at departure gates.”
They went through to the D.I.’s office to discuss the options they now had. After a short debate, they agreed it would be best to wait until the flight was called and to pick Gomez up there … assuming he turned up, and that he hadn’t appeared earlier boarding one of the other flights.
“We’ll wait until he’s ID’d himself, and pick him up in the tunnel once he’s gone through,” said the D.I.
Jon readily agreed. It sounded like a good plan and was besides something which the D.I. that sat opposite him had no doubt done successfully on many previous occasions. There was nothing else Jon could do now except wait. He found this a frustrating experience. Time seemed to pass so slowly. He looked frequently at the clocks on the wall. There were several, showing the times in Adelaide, Berlin, New York and Tokyo as well as in the U.K. Every now and then he also glanced at his watch, as though these larger silver timepieces were lying to him.
As the time approached for the flight to be called the D.I. began to double check his arrangements, calling both the detectives assigned and the carrier Gomez would be reporting to. It was an activity Jon couldn’t usefully join in with. He had to just continue to wait. When there was only a few minutes left before the flight was due to appear on the monitors they left the office and headed for the gate. They drove for most of the way because it was quite a trek. Even after they’d parked and left the vehicle, they remained outside for the last leg of their approach. Besides being shorter they didn’t want to risk alerting Gomez to their presence. Other officers would approach and seal off the tunnel from the terminal end once Gomez had passed through.
Apprehending Gomez was straight forward and involved none of the running about that film and TV portrayals might lead one to expect. After he’d presented his ID and had entered the tunnel the lady who had let him through signalled to a waiting officer and delayed the next passenger so that Gomez was the last to go down. He radioed that Gomez was on his way then followed him down accompanied by a second officer. Two others appeared at the same time and waited at the tunnel’s entrance. Jon walked with the D.I. and two other officers up the tunnel as soon as the alert came through. Gomez had maintained his position as the last passenger, though the tunnel was wide enough to have passed others if he’d wanted to.
Gomez paused slightly when he saw the four man team approaching. Not only was it unusual for people to be opposing to the flow of people down to the waiting aircraft, but also he recognised Jon as the man he’d followed to find Riaz’s location. He glanced casually over his shoulder and saw the officers that had followed him down approaching. He carried on walking, as though their approach had nothing to do with him. Certainly that was the appearance he was trying to give, and would have succeeded with most people, though Jon’s trained eye noticed.
“Mr. Gomez?” he said as he stepped directly in front of the man, “we’d like a word.”