OTTAWA - More than 100 Sri Lankan’s were arrested in Thailand in a bust that local media and police in that country say is connected to human smuggling.
"We are aware that Thai authorities detained over 100 people who were apparently illegally in their country and who were apparently intending to come to Canada though a smuggling operation," Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney told QMI Agency.
In the summer, the government boosted its co-operation with Thailand and other countries in South Asia as the MV Sun Sea ship travelled toward Canada. The ship sailed to Canada from Thailand with nearly 500 ethnic Tamils from Sri Lanka seeking refugee status.
"Canada has increased its police and intelligence presence in the region," Kenney said.
Just over two weeks ago, Thai police arrested 155 Sri Lankan nationals who were also believed to be headed for Canada aboard a human-smuggling ship.
"There are multiple syndicates that are basically criminal gangs, quite sophisticated, working in the region, selling the dream of coming to Canada," Kenney said.
The government insists it's targeting the criminals behind those syndicates and trying to take away their customer base through C-49.
Liberal immigration critic Justin Trudeau said the Conservative government should work with the governments where these ships launch to go after the criminals and not the would-be refugees. (torontosun)