Unidentified foreigner who tried to stowaway on outbound flight appears in court

An man who remains unidentified four months after being caught attempting to stowaway on a flight from Taiwan to Palau appeared in court today, but had only one thing to say to the judge.

“Dear friend, Jesus is God,” the long-haired, bearded man declared to the judge in fluent Chinese.

Other than that statement, and a “thank you,” also spoken in Chinese, “Man A,” as he was referred to during the hearing at the Taoyuan District Court, remained cooperative, but silent.

While refusing to give his name, or other personal details, Man A gestured that he did not require the court appointed Russian translator, and nodded when asked if the man shown in security footage attempting to ride the landing gear of a China Airlines Boeing 737-800 was indeed him.

man who attempted to stowaway in the landing gear of a Boeing 737-800
Taipei Taoyuan International Airport, November 2, 2019.

Man A was arrested on the afternoon of November 2, 2019, after he was spotted clinging to the landing gear of China Airlines flight CI 28 bound for Palau. Man A was in possession of a notebook, containing notes written in Russian, a Russian bible, a bag of bread, a bottle of water, a reflective vest, and several barbecue lighters. However, the man carried no identification documents.

A subsequent investigation found that there were no records of his fingerprints or iris scans, and it is not known how or when Man A entered the country.

During the investigation, Russian translators, including a Russian Orthodox priest were brought in to assist, but the man refused to speak. Attempts were made to communicate with the man using other languages, but none elicited any useful response.

At one point, Man A drew pictures showing that he intended to go to Palau to live out the rest of his life, and he had brought lighters so he could start a campfire when he got there, and had no intention of using the lighters to harm flight safety.

Man A was kept in detention, as he was deemed a flight risk and was formally prosecuted for breaching immigration laws on February 27.

Today’s court appearance was a procedural hearing and the case will now go to sentencing.

Man A could face charges of up to three years imprisonment, followed by deportation, but it is not known how deportation can be managed when nationality has not been identified.

See previous article: Flight at Taoyuan Airport aborted after man spotted clinging to landing gear

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