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Woman mistaken for criminal, forced to strip at Canadian airport

By Chris Stewart     Jun 15, 2009 in Travel
Montreal resident Sylvie Ménard was mistaken for a criminal by Canadian airport security agents who ordered her to strip in an embarrassing mishap. Officials say they needed to see if she had a pink tattoo on her buttocks.
Sylvie Ménard is neither a criminal nor a terrorist. In fact, she has no history of trouble with the law.
However, during a recent trip back from Mexico she was accosted by Canadian customs officials at the Montreal airport who told her she was a suspect and needed to be questioned.
After testing her luggage and person for traces of illegal drugs, they took her into a cell for further interrogation.
Ménard was then told to strip so officers could attempt to positively identify her as their suspect by spotting a tattoo on her buttocks.
Ménard says she was caused stress by the situation, which began as a simple confusion over her name.
According to the The Canadian Press, officers suggested that Ménard could avoid further incident by changing her name.
Ménard said, “I showed them twice that there was no pink tattoo there, because they came back to see if it was erased." She described how customs officers went, in Ménard's opinion, beyond normal protocol in extending the humiliating situation.
Canadian airline authorities stand by their security measures noting the vast amount of travelers they must keep track of in order to maintain security.
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