Ocean Lady crew granted bail

30 July 2011 05:10 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Four crew members of the ship that brought dozens of Sri Lankan migrants to the B.C. coast in 2009 and who were subsequently charged with human smuggling offences were granted bail on Friday.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Gregory Bowden granted bail to Hamalraj Handasamy, 39, Vignarajah “Raja” Thevarajah, 33, Francis “Mano” Anthonimuthu Appulonappa, 33, and Jeyachandran Kanagarajah, 32.

All are Sri Lankan citizens who came to Canada on the Ocean Lady which was stopped and boarded by RCMP and Canada Border Service Agency officers near Vancouver Island.

The ship contained 76 Sri Lankan men who were taken into custody. All have since claimed refugee status.

The RCMP arrested the crew members earlier this month in Toronto when human smuggling charges against them were laid following an investigation.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Their next court appearance will be Sept. 14.(The Vancouver Sun)
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