VANCOUVER, British Columbia – The owner of a Hollywood mask company said Saturday he has mixed feelings that a Chinese asylum seeker who fled to Canada disguised as an elderly white man used one of his products.
SPFXMasks owner Rusty Slusser said while he's proud the mask was sufficiently detailed to fool authorities, he's not happy about the way the mask, which retails for $1,259, was used.
"Our mask is super realistic, but going through airport security is a bit of a long shot. I would never have guessed," said the 39-year-old business man, who's been in the special effects business for 26 years.
Canadian authorities said the Chinese man used the mask to board the flight before removing it in the plane's washroom.
The asylum-seeker was arrested upon arrival in Vancouver, British Columbia on Oct. 29. Canada Border Services lawyer David Macdonald said the man presented authorities with a Peoples Republic of China identity card.
The man remains in Canadian custody as officials wait for documents from China to confirm his identity. Canada cannot begin processing his refugee claim until he has been properly identified.
The man's lawyer Dan McLeod said his client's identity will not be revealed to the media because McLeod requested a publication ban on the immigration hearings. The lawyer, however, confirmed his client is from mainland China. His next detention hearing is December 8.
Slusser said it's not the first time someone has used one of the company's masks, which are sold around the world, for criminal purposes.
He said a man allegedly wore one of SPFX's masks earlier this year in a series of Ohio bank robberies.
"They were looking for an African-American man and it turned out to be a white guy," Slusser said.
SPFXMasks products have been featured in horror films such as "Revamped" and "Hallow's Point," according to the company's website.