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Canada Border Agency says Tamil migrant should be deported for human smuggling

Apr 8, 2011 4:45:12 AM - itnnews.lk

Among the hundreds of Tamil migrants who arrived in Canada aboard a cargo ship last summer, was one of the organizers of what the Canada Border Service Agency deems a human smuggling mission.

Kenny Nicolaou, at a hearing yesterday asked the Immigration and Refugee Board to deport the man, the first Sri Lankan refugee claimant from the MV Sun Sea to face board allegations of human smuggling. The man, who cannot be identified because of a publication ban, admitted he was one of 12 crew members who were the first to board the ship and helped run it on its voyage from Thailand to Canada.

Nicolaou said the operation to arrange and transfer 492 migrants across the ocean was “highly organized” and required key people to ensure it ran smoothly.

He told the board that sans their contribution, there would have been no journey. The migrant testified he had arranged through a friend to work on the crew in exchange for his $35,000 US passage, which he could not pay.

Nicolaou also alleged the migrant’s relative was a “key organizer” in the operation.

The man confirmed a relative worked aboard the ship, but admitted he lied about it during an interview with a border official when the Sun Sea first arrived in Canada last August. He said he revealed the truth and identified his relative in a later interview.