Canadian man arrested by US in alleged human smuggling; wife also charged

Ms Omoruyi, from Regina, faces a charge of human smuggling and a charge of conspiracy to commit human smuggling. The on-going project started four months ago, involving the RCMP integrated border enforcement team, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and US border agencies.

A Saskatchewan woman has been charged with human smuggling following a months-long cross-border investigation.

She is scheduled to appear in provincial court on 15 May.

The documents say authorities started watching Omoruyi when he entered the USA that day, followed him for several hours and allegedly watched him drop off nine people in an area of open farm fields near the border.

"It's on everybody's radar", said Alan Zeitvogel, acting division chief of operations for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Grand Forks, N.D.

Over a four-month investigation, "the (Canada Border Services Agency) 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", Jason Evert, a CBSA assistant director, told reporters Wednesday.


The following day, police searched a home in Regina and found a significant amount of cash - some in foreign currency, officials said.

"Of course we had to take the interest of these immigrants into consideration as well; generally they're coming from a state where they're potentially at risk or looking for a better life and sometimes desperate", he said.

Last month, the RCMP intercepted 887 people crossing between official border points, with 644 of them crossing into Quebec.

The human smuggling charge is the first of its kind in Saskatchewan this year, said police. Most cases occurred in Quebec, Manitoba and B.C.

Two asylum seekers claiming to be from the Democratic Republic of Congo cross the border into Canada from the US on March 28 near Hemmingford, Que.

Others have had Canada in their sights all along as their destination, obtaining U-S visas exclusively for the objective of coming here. Safe Third Country Agreement - increases the problem of human smuggling and unlawful border crossings. The agreement states that people can't make refugee claims at Canada-U.S. land border crossing points because they should have lodged one in the country they first entered.


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