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Chinese tourist gets lost in translation

Travel News

London - A Chinese backpacker who tried to report to police that his wallet had been stolen was locked up in a centre for refugees by mistake.

The 31-year-old tourist was looking for a police station in Stuttgart, southern Germany, but ended up at a municipal office that handles asylum applications.

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File photo: The man, who speaks neither German nor English, was handed a form which he signed without realising it was an application for asylum.

The man, who speaks neither German nor English, was handed a form which he signed without realising it was an application for asylum.

His passport was taken away and he was sent to a shelter for refugees in Dortmund, where he was held for nearly two weeks. German media said the tourist had his fingerprints taken and underwent a medical examination without protest. He even accepted pocket money.

Staff eventually noticed that the man was unusually well-dressed for an asylum seeker and, fearing a mistake had been made, sought help at a local Chinese restaurant.

Using a Mandarin translation app, they found that the man did not need asylum but wanted to continue his European walking tour. He has now set off for France and Italy.

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