Alleged Tamil Tiger redetained
October 9, 2010, 7:27 pm
An alleged member of the Tamil Tigers, whom Canadian officials say travelled between Sri Lanka and Hong Kong on fraudulent passports, was ordered detained for the fourth time Friday as authorities attempt to verify his true identity.
The man, who can not be identified because of a publication ban, came to Canada in August aboard the MV Sun Sea with 491 other Tamil migrants including his wife. His is the second case in which the Canada Border Services Agency has raised security concerns.
He is being detained because his identity cannot yet be confirmed. However, the man’s counsel, Larry Smeets, said the CBSA is alleging that his client is a member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a banned terrorist organization in Canada. Mr. Smeets declined to comment further on the allegations.
During the migrant’s hearing Friday at the Fraser Regional Correctional Centre in Maple Ridge, the CBSA said the man had withheld information about his travels to Hong Kong but later admitted to travelling from Hong Kong to Sri Lanka on a fake passport after he was ordered deported. He returned 10 days later to Hong Kong with a fake passport, the CBSA said. Reasons for his deportation or presence in Hong Kong were not divulged at the hearings.
"As a result, it appears he is proficient in obtaining fraudulent identity documents," CBSA counsel Jennifer Friberg said, adding that the migrant hid information about his relatives in Canada.
She said that in earlier questioning the man said he had no relatives in Canada, but his wife contradicted him and said they did have family in the country. His wife then said she had no contact information for those relatives. However, Mr. Smeets provided those numbers during the hearing.
The IRB adjudicator, Rolland Ladouceur, pointed to those contradictions as he ordered the man’s continued detention. "A reasonable person might come to the conclusion that you are hiding something," he said. The man is due to have another hearing in 30 days.
Meanwhile, lawyers for some of the migrants say their clients are being questioned by CBSA investigators about a possible additional vessel bringing more Tamil migrants to Canada.
Reports of an additional vessel have not been independently confirmed and CBSA declined to answer questions on their investigations. (BBC)
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