A Chinese tourist was stopped at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) and sent back to Kinmen on Tuesday after he left the tour group he was traveling with, police said.
Aviation police said a 78-year-old man from China’s Shandong Province, surnamed Ji (吉), had arrived at Kinmen’s Shueitou Wharf at 9:30am with a tour group for a one-day visit. Ji was discovered missing from the group at about 11am, and a police investigation found that he was already on a Mandarin Airlines plane bound for Taipei.
After being stopped by aviation police officers in Taipei, Ji said that he had brought some calligraphy and paintings with him and wanted to conduct “cultural exchanges” on Taiwan proper.
Chinese tourists are not allowed to visit Taiwan proper when they visit outlying islands on single-day travel permits, the police said.
Mandarin Airlines said an initial investigation showed that Ji bought his plane ticket at the airport counter shortly before the plane’s scheduled departure time of 12:30pm.
The company said Ji had a travel permit and that its staff at the airport counter did not notice that the permit read “valid only in the Kinmen and Matsu areas.”
The company said it would review the incident and make improvements.
The Aviation Police Office’s Taipei branch said initial findings showed that aviation police officers in Kinmen were not negligent.
The office said that in accordance with simplified procedures in recent years, aviation police only inspect boarding passes for domestic routes.
The office said it would review this procedure to prevent similar occurrences in the future.