Stowaway helper jailed for 3 years

2011-10-19 10:02

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Hong Kong - A former airport worker who helped unauthorised passengers board flights with forged papers has been jailed for three years in Hong Kong, a media report said on Wednesday.

Jailing Chau Pak-kin, 27, judge Albert Wong Sung-hau said he had jeopardised aircraft and passenger safety, the South China Morning Post said.

In one case that grabbed worldwide headlines Chau helped smuggle a Chinese man in his 20s disguised as an elderly Caucasian man onboard a flight to Canada in October 2010.

The ruse was only discovered by Canadian immigration officials who became suspicious and detained the man after he disembarked from the Air Canada flight. They found the "old man" was wearing a silicon mask.

The judge said Chau's action had undermined the effectiveness of immigration control at Hong Kong International Airport and compromised Hong Kong's reputation.

Chau was convicted of conspiracy to obtain services by deception at a Hong Kong district court.

While Chau could not explain cash deposits paid into his bank account, Wong accepted that he did not take an active part in the conspiracy.

But the judge said by allowing unauthorised passengers to board aircraft, he had been instrumental to the success of the scam because he was the very last barrier to prevent them passing through the boarding gates.

In mitigation, Chau's barrister Jacky Jim Chun-ki said the ground staff worker was remorseful and had taken the initiative to withdraw from the plot by resigning from his employer, Singapore Air Terminal Services in December 2010.
- SAPA
Read more on:    china  |  air travel
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