A Chinese tourist who tried to report a stolen wallet during a visit to Germany was given an asylum application instead, and ended up in a refugee camp.
I know, it sounds funny, but for the poor Chinese tourist is was hardly as fun.
According to the British paper The Guardian, a Chinese tourist who tried to report a stolen wallet during a visit to Germany unwittingly signed an application that got him stranded as a refugee for two weeks in the country’s burgeoning asylum bureaucracy.
The 31-year-old, known as Mr L, spoke only Mandarin. German authorities discovered their mistake after turning in desperation to a local Chinese restaurant to interpret for them, a Red Cross official said on Monday.
Christoph Schlütermann, an official with the German Red Cross, which runs the home, told DPA news on Monday that the man “set machinery in motion that he couldn’t get out of”.
“He spent 12 days trapped in our bureaucratic jungle because we couldn’t communicate,” he said. “Germany is unfortunately an extremely bureaucratic country. Especially during the refugee crisis I’ve seen how much red tape we have.”
After being robbed in Heidelberg, the man went to the town hall, which he thought was a police station, where he signed an asylum application. He was then taken 220 miles (360km) to a refugee shelter in Dülmen and given food and spending money like other refugees. “He simply did what he was told,” Schlütermann said.
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