According to an Air Canada document, a flight from Hong Kong to Vancouver on October 29 featured an illegally entry into the country so elaborate that authorities have deemed it “unbelievable”.
A Canada Border Services Agency intelligence alert, obtained by U.S. television news network CNN – reported a case where an Asian male in his 20s boarded a plane in Hong Kong disguised as an elderly Caucasian man, changed in a washroom while in mid-flight, and then exited the flight in Canada as himself.
Although clad in suitable clothing – including a brown cardigan sweater and leather cap – the impostor was discovered when Air Canada staff observed his youthful looking hands.
The individual was escorted from the aircraft by border officials when it landed and although he claimed to only have one piece of luggage, the flight crew located two additional suitcases that contained the silicone face and neck mask that gave him the appearance of a senior citizen, along with clothing that made up the rest of his disguise.
Based on the intelligence alert issued November 1, it is suspected that the man switched boarding passes with a 55-year-old American passenger and also used a Aeroplan card to board the flight.
The Asian man later made a claim for refugee protection and also modeled the disguise for officials who observed “that he very much resembled an elderly Caucasian man, complete with mimicking the movements of an elderly person.”
The Chinese man, whose identity has not been released and did not have a VISA required to enter Canada, is being held by the Canada Border Services Agency and will face an Immigration and Refugee Board hearing at an undetermined date.
After researching where such sophisticated, life-like disguises are available, ENN located an online company that sells very similar silicon masks. Along with Zombies, Vampires, and a Wolf Man disguises, SPFXMasks offers a mask and neck cover called “The Elder” that is comparable to the disguise used in the Air Canada incident.
Available at four different price points, based on whether the disguise includes eyebrows and/or hair, the model with hair and eyebrows – also featured on the Chinese refugee’s mask – costs $1259 U.S.
As can be seen in the photos shown here, and especially in the featured video on the product page for the Elder Man mask, the disguise would appear convincing to casual observation like the man may have encountered while boarding in Hong Kong.
As of yet, there is no package available for this disguise to include matching silicone elderly hands.
Feature photo courtesy Canada Border Services Agency. Elder man photos source: SPFXmasks