Man with stolen German passport escapes from Haneda airport security

TOKYO —

A suspected illegal immigrant escaped from the custody of Haneda airport security guards this week, officials said Thursday.

According to police and immigration officials, the man arrived at Haneda Airport on Monday night, using a German passport that had been reported stolen. While immigration control looked into the issue, the man was moved to airport employee accommodation in a restricted area, TV Asahi reported. A Haneda airport spokesperson said his room was monitored by a guard from a private security firm 24 hours a day.

However, in the early hours of Tuesday morning, the man reportedly told the guard he just wanted to step outside the room to smoke. The guard was walking him to a smoking area when the man broke away and made his escape on foot, TV Asahi reported.

The man was described as Caucasian, with dark hair and around 175 cm tall. Airport security say he was last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt and sweatpants.

Japan Today

  • 4

    JA_Cruise

    well, if he is still in Japan, I am sure he won't get too far before be discovered....

  • 7

    Mirai Hayashi

    Guard = FAIL

  • 4

    Ewan Huzarmy

    The old 'Step outside for a smoke' routine always gets them. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if the security guy was fat and pushing sixty.

  • 4

    combinibento

    This guy clearly lived in Japan before and knew the level of "security" his captors were able to provide. Pretty much anything beyond instructing the gaijin which passport window to head to is out of their comfort zone. I don't doubt he made it out of the airport and all the way to town.

  • 3

    Lilic

    They have his fingerprints and picture, i guess he wont go very far since its an island. But what's he's intentions? Why Japan?

  • -2

    rickyvee

    he must have been feening for some real sushi. i think they call that the sushi shakes.

  • 6

    Virtuoso

    The man was described as Caucasian, with dark hair and around 175 cm tall.

    Gee, I hope the police don't drag me in -- even though only the first of those three descriptions fit me.

  • 4

    ozellis

    I personally would like this amended to: The man was described as Caucasian, with dark hair, around 175 cm tall and extremely quick. Airport security say he was last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt and sweatpants and looked like he really did need a smoke.

  • 2

    Farmboy

    This is almost like the story the other week about the bank robber who was told to take a number and sit down, and actually did so. People really do cooperate so nicely. It's a shame that some people, like this escapee, are going to have the effect of betraying that trust.

  • -3

    realmind

    The Japanese immigration allows people to smoke and drink and enjoy snack ( sunaku) at the airport counter before entering in to Japan...

  • 0

    nandakandamanda

    Sounds like 007.

  • 4

    Disillusioned

    Caucasian, 175cm tall with dark brown hair? That should narrow the suspects down to 20,000 or so. With all the crap that the j-Gov have been spouting about increased airport security and then to have this happen is totally ridiculous! He was traveling under stolen passport and his true identity was not known, why the heck was he given any slack at all? He should have been cuffed and in a slammer! Unbelievable!

  • 0

    GW

    This is hilarious!

  • 3

    Fadamor

    He was traveling under stolen passport and his true identity was not known, why the heck was he given any slack at all? He should have been cuffed and in a slammer! Unbelievable!

    What's unbelievable is the number of folk who don't read.

    While immigration control looked into the issue,

    a.) They didn't KNOW for sure it was stolen until after he made a break for it. They were still trying to confirm that the passport was stolen when he ran.

    b.) How long do you think the airport security operation would be in business if they 'cuffed every person they were checking on and threw them "in a slammer"? After the first couple of false arrests, the mounting lawsuits would put the security company out of business.

  • 2

    prinzjay

    Very Smart move or maybe not.....having a fake/stolen passport will net you years in prison in Japan. I met an Italian man who sentenced to two years in Fuchu prison for being possession of fake passport. How did I met him?? In jail. Now this escapee is facing possession of a stolen passport and escape....he's going to be doing hard time for sure.

  • 1

    prinzjay

    VISA OVERSTAY CONSEQUENCES....FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE.... 1) You will be jailed in the local police station for up to 2 weeks..you will have a quick trial and be found guilty of violating the "Refugee and Immigration Control Act" and ordered to be deported.....2) You will be transferred to Immigration Detention..this is where things get ugly. Hopefully you have the money to by a ticket home...if not....you will remain in Immigration Detention custody for 60 days...you have access to phones and phone cards to call family and friends to ask for money...TV in your room you share with others...and so on. If by 60 days you do NOT get the money to buy a ticket back to your country...you are transferred to a prison in Ibaraki (if you're man), and thats if you are detained in the Kanto area. 3) You will be forced to work in a prison factory for 120 days for the ticket money home...if at anytime someone sends you money for your ticket to your home country...you can leave...if not, you work. For Americans...you are sent to Guam as thats the nearest US territory, should the Japanese government pay for your ticket after 60 days in Immigration Detention and 120 days in prison. DO NOT OVERSTAY!!! You will be SORRY!!!

  • 1

    prinzjay

    FYI: if you are deported from Japan.....the deportation stamp does not say "deported".....it will have a heavy black numbers like "54-37" stamped next your exit stamp. Your passport is ruined with that black stamp in it....so get another one.

  • 2

    prinzjay

    @Fadamore...Immigration officials usually give western people the benefit of the doubt and handles us with better treatment....clearly that was a mistake in this case. When I was in the Yokohama Immigration Detention facility and the Narita Immigration Detention facility, I was treated with kid gloves and respected.......while my follow inmates from other asian countries were treated like garbage and abused.

    BTW: Lawsuit in Japan are rare, very expensive for the filer, very time consuming.....often taking 5 to 10 years and you can only sue for actual damages...there is no punitive damage awards in Japan...so whatever you do win, will be peanuts.

  • -1

    DudeDeuce

    he must have been feening for some real sushi. i think they call that the sushi shakes.

    No doubt, I bet the Tokyo police will up the ante on checking IDs on all white folks walking by them.

  • -2

    Snolygoster

    @prinzjay, it sounds like you had a heck of a time after overstaying your visa. That was all your firsthand experience, right? I know a few people who've overstayed their visas, and had no ill effects beyond a stern talking to. That said, how long did you overstay your visa, and what type was it?

  • 1

    Alex Tokyo

    I don't know why, but I'm kind of rooting for this guy.

    Don't get caught sleeping under a CCTV camera 2 minutes walk away or by stopping at 7-11 to read manga like a Japanese suspect would. Come on, son!

  • 0

    ka_chan

    Private security at airports fails again. What no picture?

  • 0

    ka_chan

    Appropriate place to fly the coop.

  • 0

    Patrick Hagger

    Now that is expected in the US with the TSA to busy attacking the passengers to worry about someone with a stolen passport

  • 3

    prinzjay

    I know a few people who've overstayed their visas, and had no ill effects beyond a stern talking to

    I dont what kind of friends you have...but overstaying your visa in Japan will get you arrest..no exceptions. What happened to your friends after they got a "stern lecture"...they got to walk free around Japan without a proper visa in Japan?? I doubt it.

    I think you are confusing two different situations. I believe you are confusing foreigners who dont carry their passports or Gaijin cards with them at all times and got caught...that usually results in a stern lecture, nothing more. Staying in Japan on an expired visa will get you locked up and deported...Guaranteed...just ask the poor souls stuck in Immigration..if you can.

    > That said, how long did you overstay your visa, and what type was it?

    I was arrested for "Shougai".....thats assault and was held in jail (10 weeks) until 6 days after my visa expired...that was a prosecutor ploy....knowing full well their was no evidence I committed a crime...after being released on my court date...I was remanded to the custody of Immigration officials....given a 3 year banishment by immigration and I purchased my plane ticket home a few days later. But there were dozens and dozens of foreigners ALL of them visa overstays stuck at immigration....waiting for transport to prison to work for 4 months to earn their tickets home, just as soon as their 60 days was over in immigration detention.

  • 1

    Poke

    Alex Tokyo took the words out of my mouth. I can't explain it, but I also find myself rooting for this guy...unless he turns out to be an international criminal or "terrorist." Perhaps because he's the undergod, and his chances don't look good. Now he's stuck in Japan, a friendly-faced police state, with no documentation...probably no money. Unless he has contacts here he's in trouble. He's not likely to make it out of the country again. One has to imagine he was pretty desperate to try this stunt--on a stolen passport that would immediately set off warning bells. A need to get out of where he was, or get some place to find work. Maybe he was in Japan before and had a life here, but for some reason couldn't come in again on his own passport (though, if his fingerprints were already in the system...). I'm curious to see how this will play out.

  • 2

    Probie

    Why are people talking about overstaying? The article has nothing to do with that. You might as well be discussing cheese products.

  • 1

    WilliB

    Probie; He began overstaying the moment he entered Japan without a visa...

  • 3

    WilliB

    Poke;

    " I also find myself rooting for this guy "

    You are also rooting for the German guy who he stole the passport from? How about if someone steals your passport and start using it... you^d root for that person too?

  • -1

    Dennis Bauer

    Is it Jason Bourne

  • 0

    Elbuda Mexicano

    My guess the security guard was also a smoker ??

  • 0

    Probie

    @WilliB

    Probie; He began overstaying the moment he entered Japan without a visa...

    Er...no. He didn't really "enter Japan" because the immigration people stopped him. So, he didn't have a visa, and therefore he didn't "overstay" anything.

    I think you're confusing overstaying with illegal entry.

  • 2

    prinzjay

    @Probie....the man in question probably entered Japan legally....but possibly due to his visa being expired...maybe even years ago...he cannot leave. If he attempts to leave Japan with an expired visa...he will be detained..arrested and prosecuted.

    Now this guy was caught in possession of a stolen passport and attempted to use it to leave Japan and then escapes from custody...he just compounded his problems and now faces serious prison time. Why would anybody use a stolen passport to flee Japan?? Because he is a law breaker. Cant think of any other reason.

    BTW: All this guy had to do was turn himself in...spend 10 to 14 days in jail...go to court..get kicked to immigration...make sure he had plenty of money to buy a ticket home...and he would gone within days!! But no..he had try and make a 007 style escape...and it failed. Sad.

  • -2

    Probie

    @prinzjay

    @Probie....the man in question probably entered Japan legally....but possibly due to his visa being expired...maybe even years ago...he cannot leave. If he attempts to leave Japan with an expired visa...he will be detained..arrested and prosecuted.

    He arrived on Monday night, and escaped in the early hours of Tuesday morning. So, I seriously doubt he had an expired visa that may have expired "years ago".

    Now this guy was caught in possession of a stolen passport and attempted to use it to leave Japan and then escapes from custody...he just compounded his problems and now faces serious prison time. Why would anybody use a stolen passport to flee Japan?? Because he is a law breaker. Cant think of any other reason.

    No, they got him when he was ENTERING the country. He arrived from S.E. Asia late Monday night.

    Japanese article:

    http://sankei.jp.msn.com/affairs/news/121205/crm12120514240015-n1.htm

    BTW: All this guy had to do was turn himself in...spend 10 to 14 days in jail...go to court..get kicked to immigration...make sure he had plenty of money to buy a ticket home...and he would gone within days!! But no..he had try and make a 007 style escape...and it failed. Sad.

    Read the article I just linked and get back to me...

  • -1

    TravelingSales

    Can never trust tose smokers

  • 0

    ka_chan

    Since the GERMAN passport was a STOLEN PASSPORT, we do not the nationality of this guy. All we know is that he is has a light complexion and is short (5 ft 7-8 inch). Since we don't know who's passport he was using, we can't rule out anything. It is very possible that he is a middle eastern terrorist. Generally, people who travel on false id are up to no good. Since this is such a brazen act (using a stolen passport and his escape), he is probably very dangerous.

  • 0

    davestrousers

    It is very possible that he is a middle eastern terrorist. Generally, people who travel on false id are up to no good. Since this is such a brazen act (using a stolen passport and his escape), he is probably very dangerous.

    Right. Better call Jack Bauer before its too late.

  • 0

    tokyoguy719

    Tread Stone.... Jason Bourne ....

  • 1

    Darren Brannan

    Or maybe he was married to a child abductor and the govt. here had denied him a visa as they often do..should make for an interesting case to follow. Dress as a penguin or a monkey and he should evade capture.

  • 0

    nandakandamanda

    Well I for one am glad that they have shown his picture around so everyone will recognize him.

    Oh, wait, have they?

    All he has to do is see a roughly similar-looking gaijin, follow him home, steal his passport and leave whenever.

    What's the difficulty?

  • 0

    ThonTaddeo

    All we know is that he is has a light complexion and is short (5 ft 7-8 inch).

    Forgive the nitpick, but 175 cm is closer to 5' 9", and is just about the exact average height for Caucasian men. So he in fact stands out even less!

  • 0

    House Atreides

    The man was described as Caucasian, with dark hair and around 175 cm tall. Airport security say he was last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt and sweatpants.

    The police need to release any airport security videos they have showing the suspect. Even a person's gait can be used to identify a person.

  • 0

    WilliB

    " FAll he has to do is see a roughly similar-looking gaijin, follow him home, steal his passport and leave whenever. "

    From the description, he is a pretty average looking gaijin. Hang on to your passports, people.

  • -2

    davejenks

    @prinzjay I'm your exception. I've overstayed my visa TWICE in the past ten years. The first time I got a stern talking to. The second time I had to jump through some hoops. Call me a dope but I was never incarcerated, arrested, threatened or even slightly disrespected. But then again, I was never arrest for assault. I think THAT is what is confusing you and getting you handcuffed and locked up with foreign nationals.

  • 0

    chmura

    If he has no where to go all he has to do is go to roppongi late night pick up a drunken j girl and problem solved. He could even live with her for an extended about of time.

  • 0

    Meguroman

    Considering how long the Aum folks were on the run, basically in plain sight, this guy could be lurking around for ages as long as he keeps a low profile. Lets face it, if you are Caucasian and dress decently and dont hang out in party spots late into the night, getting into mischief, the chances of being carded for ID is minimal. I`ve lived here for 20 yrs and have never been asked for ID by police in the street (not counting driving). If caught, it would be interesting to see if he intended to just transit Japan for a short time or has some ill intent here in the archipelago.

  • -1

    Ch1n4Sailor

    The guard was walking him to a smoking area when the man broke away and made his escape on foot, TV Asahi reported.

    Anyone really surprised..? A Private security firm..? You mean, that immigrations doesn't even have their own security people, jcops or the like..? They hire rent-a-cops...? Who by law, cannot carry any weapons, even asp's or pepper spray, to defend themselves... Good decision making...!

    At least none of the Immigration people (or the rent-a-cops) got hurt, that's probably the only good thing to come out of this story!

  • 0

    ka_chan

    nitpick 175cm is just below 5'9". Ave height of White American and Europeans are 5'10 1/2" for everything I've seen. Granted that Scotts are on average 175cm. But in any case since eyewitness testimony is the mostly unreliable, the guy is probably over 170cm and with a light complexion. And, just because he have a stolen German passport, doesn't make him German. The article doesn't even say where the plane flew in from. But I guess they don't know that either since you had them a form that you filled out.
    There is a lot easier way to sneak into Japan then by using a false identity. The North Korean have been doing it for years.

  • 0

    Pontepilate

    Who, knows...he probably paid the "guard" to look the other way while he made his exit... "Give me a few minutes heads-up, before raising the alarm" type of. Corrupt guards are not a foreign thing to Japan.

  • -1

    WilliB

    Pontepilate:

    " Who, knows...he probably paid the "guard" to look the other way while he made his exit. "

    I doubt that. They hardly had time to get aquainted, and with the language and culture barrier and all that, I doubt the guard would even understand a bribery attempt. When when was the last time you tried to bribe someone here?

    (I am not talking about internal dealings between politicians... that is a different topic.

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