A 19-year-old Saudi man allegedly posing as a pilot was detained at Manila's airport after he breached security and spent several hours wandering in the terminal's restricted area, officials said Tuesday.
The man told investigators he wanted to meet his father, who was flying in from Saudi Arabia to visit him in Manila, said airport immigration supervisor Theodore Pascual.
"It's a breach of security," Alfonso Cusi, Manila airport general manager, told The Associated Press. "We consider him to be a security threat, so we are taking action from there."
Wearing a pilot's uniform, Hany Abdulelah Bukhari went through security checks at the entrance of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, then walked over into the arrivals area one floor below, Pascual said.
He was approaching an immigration lane reserved for arriving airline crew when a security officer became suspicious and demanded to see his pilot's ID. Bukhari presented a document that identified him as a dependent of a Saudi Airlines' employee, Pascual said.
Bukhari is facing charges of misrepresentation and will be deported, Cusi said, adding investigators were working to find out more about him and his intentions.
He did not appear on any terrorist watch lists, said Ferdinand Sampol, the airport immigration chief.
"It's a mistake ... but not my mistake," Bukhari told ABS-CBN television. "The guards allowed me to enter."
He told investigators he enrolled in a school for flight dispatchers but Pascual said he did not have a student visa. The man arrived in Manila on Nov. 30 and was issued a 21-day visitor visa, Pascual said.
Bukhari was about to be transferred from the airport to the Immigration Bureau's detention center Tuesday when he fainted, Pascual said. He was taken for a hospital checkup after claiming he was a diabetic, Pascual said.
"There was a failure on our part here," Cusi said, adding the security lapses will be investigated.