Saturday, January 15, 2011

Never Gonna Give You Up

When the story broke about the Chinese refugee who wore a rubber old-man mask and gained access into Canada people became nervous. Online commentators spoke of the permeable barrier of Canada and the nature of his debated refugee status. "Were there really people trying to kill him?" We all wondered, "Should we send him back?" and most importantly, "How did he get through security?"

The information surrounding this case is laughably confused. Initial reports showed people noticed an "elderly Caucasian man with young hands" boarded the flight but became a "young Asian male" after visiting the bathroom. An official inquiry into the matter, however, included testimony that he boarded the flight without the mask and put it on while on-board. The same news reports indicate that he had a legitimate passport, but switched to using a fake one, one of a 55 year old man, once on the plane. People have speculated that it is possible to obtain a passport through bribery and other illegitimate means (Gasp!), but cannot conclusively say where it came from. When he was confronted at the airport, the man claimed refugee status. If we assume the more recent story that had come to light, the man willing donned a disguise when he was already free and clear to enter the country. The only reason one could theorize for such a bone-head  move is either because they were stupid, or because the plan had already worked before. In fact, authorities have admitted they think this ring  has smuggled as many as nine people through already. This theory could explain the recent rash of hyper-alert over-sensitive airport security stories that have surfaced recently. An old woman vows to complain about airport security because she feels they were mean, a story about a four-year old who threw a tantrum because security had to scan her dolly, and the accompanying noise-makers who insist this type of security is uncalled for and unnecessary, despite the fact that if our airlines included a loophole like "People 80 and older get through security free!", we would not be able to move for the terrorists.

The articles indicate he was being assisted not only by two airport staff members who have been arrested, but also by professional human smugglers (five more people are in custody, but it is unclear whether they were smugglers or not), and it seems the smugglers would "contact him upon arrival" for payment (because if there is one thing smugglers are known for is being accommodating with payment schedules), but also that his parents had already paid HK$300,000 for his trip.

He is being held still, despite earlier thoughts that he was to be released on bail, mostly because he is known to be in contact with human smugglers and constitutes a flight risk, which has not really stopped the bail system before, but carry on.

The most recent developments are the arrests and denial of bail, but rest assured, we will be keeping a close eye on this situation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hadn't heard about the 4-year-old; that's a cute one. That's not a security problem, that's a parent problem.
lol, mapa