Swapped boarding pass scam

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 November, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 November, 1995, 12:00am

A SHARP-EYED check-in worker caught a pair of stowaways as they prepared to get on a plane to Japan using boarding passes issued to someone else.

The District Court heard that on August 7 a passenger approached the Japan Air Lines desk at Kai Tak and asked if he could exchange his August 13 ticket and travel that day.

He was given a boarding pass for a flight later that afternoon.

Less than an hour later, Lau Pui-shan, 18, who has pleaded guilty to possesing forged identity cards, and another woman approached the counter and made the same request. They also received boarding passes.

Not long afterwards, the ticket handler happened to be watching passengers board the Tokyo flight when he spotted a different man and another woman holding the boarding passes he had just issued.

The check-in worker noticed Lau also queueing to board the same plane.

When he approached her and asked if she knew the two other passengers, she replied she did not.

The couple were travelling on Chinese passports and also held boarding passes for Kuala Lumpur as well as the Japan flight.

Lau was searched and two sealed envelopes were discovered.

Each envelope contained a doctored Hong Kong identity card and the JAL air tickets. The forged cards bore photographs of the two stowaways.

Lau told police a woman named Fo Kei told her she could travel to Japan for free if she escorted a couple on a flight and gave them the envelopes.

She was introduced to a man named 'Boss' who bought her an air ticket and helped obtain a Japanese visa using forged proof of work as a clerk.

On August 6, she met Boss and was told she was to travel the next day.

He instructed her to take two forged identity cards and give them to the couple on the flight. Boss also gave her $500.

The next day Lau and Boss went to the airport to meet the couple.

Boss handed her the envelopes containing the documents, 69,000 yuan (HK$64,450) and two JAL boarding passes.

In the departure lounge, she met up with the man and woman and gave them the boarding passes for the Japan flight.

Lau had been instructed to turn over the documents once all three were safely on the plane.

Judge Jackson adjourned sentencing pending reports.