8 Busted in Disguised Flier Plot

Masked man was aided by Hong Kong airport worker
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2011 4:12 AM CST
This composite photo released by Canadian officials shows the flyer, left, his disguise, middle, and how he looked wearing it, right.   (Canada Border Services Agency)

(Newser) – The young Chinese passenger who boarded a flight to Canada disguised as an elderly man had some help on the inside, authorities in Hong Kong say. An investigation into the case exposed a people-smuggling network believed to have sneaked at least eight others into Canada, authorities say. Eight suspects, including a member of Hong Kong airport's ground staff and two former airport employees, have been arrested China Daily reports.

The five men and three women arrested "are suspected of being involved in boarding pass swapping, passport selling, and conspiracy to defraud the airline operator," an immigration department official said. The disguised flier, who removed his silicone mask mid-flight, requested asylum after landing in Vancouver late last year and is still in detention. The company that made the mask, meanwhile, has seen its sales soar, but it's not thrilled about the way it won so much publicity. Click here for that story.

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