Masked man nabbed on flight to B.C. from Asia
A young Asian male has been intercepted by authorities in Vancouver after boarding a flight from Hong Kong disguised as an elderly white man, officials say.
Canada Border Services Agency officers boarded the Air Canada plane after it landed Oct. 29 and took the man into custody, the agency said in a statement issued by its Pacific region.
The alert did not specify where the flight landed, but Air Canada officials have confirmed to CBC News that it was Vancouver.
The man quickly made a claim for refugee protection after his arrest, the agency said.
Air Canada security alerted the CBSA during the 12-hour flight about a passenger who "was observed at the beginning of the flight to be an elderly Caucasian male who appeared to have young-looking hands," the agency statement said.
"During the flight, the subject attended the washroom and emerged an Asian male that appeared to be in his early 20s."
A search of the man's baggage turned up a "disguise kit" consisting of a silicone head and neck mask of an elderly white male, a brown leather cap, glasses and a brown sweater, the CBSA said.
Masks with similar facial features can be found for sale on the internet, priced between $700 and $1300.
The CBSA release said the man had switched boarding passes with another man before getting on the aircraft, but it was not clear why the swap was done or why he disguised himself.
The man is in immigration detention in Vancouver.
A CBSA official said he would appear before an Immigration and Refugee Board hearing.
His name, the date of his hearing and his reason for seeking refugee status have not been made public.