MONTREAL — A young Asian man in his early 20s disguised himself as an “elderly Caucasian male,” boarded an Air Canada flight from Hong Kong to Vancouver and sought asylum after being arrested upon arrival, the airline and media said Friday.
“We can confirm that officials from the CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) met a passenger arriving off AC018 Hong Kong to Vancouver on October 29 and the matter is still under investigation,” Air Canada spokesperson Angela Mah told AFP, confirming a US media report from Thursday.
According to a CBSA report obtained by CNN, the passenger “was observed at the beginning of the flight to be an elderly Caucasian male who appeared to have young looking hands.”
During the flight from Hong Kong, the passenger “attended the washroom and emerged an Asian looking male that appeared to be in his early 20s.”
Upon arrival in Vancouver, the man was arrested by CBSA officials, after which he requested refugee status.
Canadian media said the passenger had been wearing a silicone mask that can be bought on the Internet for around 700 dollars.
The CBSA reportedly suspected another, American passenger exchanged his boarding pass with the man.
“It should be noted that there are multiple identity checks before departure at the Hong Kong international airport, including Chinese government-run Hong Kong passport control, which Hong Kong-originating passengers must undergo,” Mah said.