Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Canada police charge woman with smuggling refugees from US

Asylum seekers RCMP in Regina to discuss human smuggling charges involving asylum seekers
Melissa Porter | 20 April, 2017, 06:33

"Throughout the course of the investigation, the CBSA uncovered evidence to suggest suspected smugglers were allegedly bringing foreign nationals into Canada from the United States by facilitating their illegal crossing between designated ports of entry".

The nine people were not injured and were safely transferred to the custody of Canada Border Services Agency. The RCMP is not confirming the age, sex or nationalities of the individuals.

The CBSA says it has been investigating organized human smuggling in southeastern Saskatchewan since December 2016.

The incident is part of Project Fadduce, a four-month, ongoing investigation involving the RCMP Integrated Border Enforcement Team, Canada Border Services Agency, United States Customs and Border Protection - Office of the Border Patrol and Office of Field Operations, and Homeland Security Investigations.

The vehicle was stopped at 9 p.m. Friday night.

"A fair portion of this currency was foreign currency", RCMP Insp.

Michelle Omoruyi has been charged with human smuggling and conspiracy to commit human smuggling. She is to appear in court in Estevan, Saskatchewan, on May 15.

"They're conducting a parallel investigation on the south side of the border. At this time, we're doing the same thing", said Fisher. Police haven't said how many people were charged or who was the subject of the attempted smuggling.

The RCMP intercepted 1,860 people walking unlawfully across the border in the first three months of 2017.

Of those stopped in March, 644 were picked up in Quebec, 170 in Manitoba and 71 in B.C. There were lone crossers in Alberta and New Brunswick.

Others have been found to have had Canada in their sights all along as their final destination, obtaining USA visas exclusively for the goal of coming here.

The 2004 pact, known as the Safe Third Country Agreement, forces most migrants to apply for asylum in the first country in which they arrive.

Since the beginning of the year hundreds of asylum claimants have been making their way across unguarded border crossings into Canada. Canadian police said their American counterparts also arrested people but would not say whether any charges had been laid.