Taiwan deported a man from Sri Lanka back to his home country on Sunday after finding he was trying to transit to New Zealand through Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport using a counterfeit Singapore passport, foreign media reported.
According to the National Immigration Agency (NIA), officers of the agency’s Special Duty Brigade stopped the man for questioning at the airport Saturday night after noticing him acting strangely.
As the traveler was being questioned, his Singapore passport was found to be counterfeit, the agency said.
The man said he was a cook in Sri Lanka and was able to barely support himself with what he made. To escape his predicament, he arranged for a human smuggling organization to help him settle overseas, the man said, according to the NIA.
The syndicate suggested he try making his way to New Zealand because popular underground routes to Europe, the United States and Canada have been closely watched by local immigration authorities in recent years, the man said.
He purchased a counterfeit Singapore passport for US$1,000 and first traveled to Malaysia before flying to Taiwan, where he hoped to transit to New Zealand, the NIA said.
During questioning, the brigade found the man also had a counterfeit Singapore ID and driving license, the NIA said.
The man was deported back to Sri Lanka on Sunday at the instruction of the Taoyuan District Prosecutors Office.