VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) – A government-approved reality television show defamed an airline passenger and gave him post-traumatic stress by accusing him of money laundering and drug use on an episode of “Border Security,” the man claims in court.
Neil Lim claims in B.C. Supreme Court that Force Four Entertainment and the Canadian Government wrongfully broadcast his interaction with Canada Border Services Agents at Vancouver International Airport on an episode of the series, which has stirred controversy in Canada because of privacy issues.
Lim claims that in March 2013 he was going to Hong Kong for a vacation and had his bag screened without incident before being “accosted” by a Canadian Border Service Agency agent, who inspected his bag again “without incident.”
He claims he was singled out for another inspection, and 10 minutes later was approached by agents accompanied by Force Four’s camera crew “this time purporting to investigate money laundering by the plaintiff.”
Officers told him that filming was “compulsory” and inspected his bag a third time before questioning him about personal drug use, threatening to compel him to take a urine test and miss his flight if he didn’t answer the questions, Lim says.
“The plaintiff, in fear and under duress, answered the questions on personal drug use in the affirmative,” the claim states.
Lim says he was frisked and strip searched and then grilled about gang membership and gang affiliations. He says he was detained for an hour and a half, and Force Four tried to get him to sign a form, which he refused.
He claims a CBSA agent “continued to harass and question” him after his release while in the international departures waiting area.
In October 2013, Lim says, he found out the incident was broadcast on an episode of “Border Security: Canada’s Front Line,” which airs on the National Geographic Channel.
He says he never consented to being on the show and that the broadcast harmed his reputation. He developed post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety after the strip search and detention, according to the lawsuit.
He seeks damages from Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada and the Attorney General of Canada for misfeasance of public office, assault, battery, wrongful imprisonment, infliction of mental suffering, civil rights violations and slander. He seeks damages for libel and invasion of privacy against Force Four Entertainment.
He is represented by Roy Ho of Acumen Law Corp. in Vancouver.
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