February 15, 2011
Disguised Refugee Claimant Released
The case of the Chinese man who entered Canada masked as an old man on an Air Canada plane will begin his refugee application process in Toronto after his release. Having been detained for three months as of the incident, Immigration and Refugee Board adjudicator Anita Merai-Schwartz has ordered for his release based upon the following conditions – a $5000 bond and a weekly report to the Canada Border Services Agency.
Eight individuals who were involved in this operation have also been arrested in Hong Kong; hence, Merai-Schwartz regarded this incident as a human smuggling operation to enter into Canada. In addition, the individual was found to be a flight risk due to evidence that he was vulnerable to the snakeheads and he owed a large amount of debt to either his parents or the smugglers. The debt may not motivate him to appear at his next refugee hearing.
A Chinese-Canadian, who is closely connected to the individual, has agreed to post the bond and has offered to accommodate for the individual’s living in Toronto. The individual’s debt to the smugglers has also been paid off by the same person. Lastly, Merai-Schwartz believes that there is no reason why the individual cannot now be positively influenced by this person, who has come to his aid.