A Malaysian man has been charged with smuggling nine people into the United States, bringing them as passengers on board the luxury ocean liner RMS Queen Mary 2.
Reuters reported Tuesday that nine Chinese nationals were helped travel on board Queen Mary 2 with the help of a Malaysian named Fatt Kwee Wong who got them embark on the journey from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The illegal immigrants disembarked in New York and attracted suspicion of the immigration officials since the Chinese group posed as if they were Japanese, but could not speak any Japanese. Upon checking, their Japanese passports turned out to be forged.
Each of the nine illegal immigrants, of which five are women and four men, paid Wong $3,500 through a third party as a fee to help them get to the US. The New York Daily News reports that this incident of illegal entry into the US is rather unique since the group entered not as stowaways but as regular passengers of the luxurious ocean liner and even having their names appear on the liner’s manifest.
The immigrant officials became suspicious of the group as they questioned Wong, who also carried a Japanese passport, about the names of his companions and noticed Wong appear baffled. Upon running a fingertip search, Wong turned out to be wanted for smuggling illegal immigrants into Bermuda. Wong, who is a Chinese/Mandarin speaker and claims he is Malaysian, was arrested on held-without-bail orders. His companions were also taken into custody.