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Immigration agency apologizes for snafu at Taoyuan airport

2018/08/10 20:44:18

CNA file photo

Taipei, Aug. 10 (CNA) The National Immigration Agency (NIA) apologized Friday for allowing a Chinese visitor to slip through immigration at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport last month and enter the country illegally.

The NIA's Border Affairs Corps admitted in a statement that the mishap was the result of human error, and that measures have been taken to prevent the incident from happening again.

The intruder, disclosed only by his family name Ke (柯), apparently jumped over the gate of an unattended immigration counter after arriving at Terminal 2 of the Taoyuan airport from Xiamen on July 19, border authorities said.

An ensuing investigation found that Ke, who has residency in the United States, flew from Los Angeles to Qingdao and then to Xiamen before arriving in Taiwan.

Border authorities said the alarm sounded when Ke crossed over the gate, but officers at the scene did not check what happened, thinking it was a child waiting behind the immigration line who tripped the alarm because she was standing very close to the controlled area.

Ke has since been arrested with the help of his Taiwanese girlfriend and is waiting to be deported, local media have reported.

According to the NIA, the purpose of his visit was to see his Taiwanese girlfriend, who had been ill in the hospital.

She was the one who brought the incident to light, the NIA said, deciding to report the matter to local police because she was angry after discovering that her boyfriend had been having fun partying at nightclubs during his first few days in Taiwan.

On Friday, the NIA issued a statement apologizing for the incident and said it will conduct a review of its standard operating procedures while also requiring its immigration officers to undergo further training.

Meanwhile, measures including additional patrols, reinforced counters and infrared intrusion alarms have been planned and will be implemented as earliest as possible, the statement said.

(By Chiu Chun-chin, Lu Kang-chun and Ko Lin)