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Canada police charge woman with smuggling refugees from US

Canada police charge woman with smuggling refugees from US

Canadian police on Wednesday said they charged a woman with human smuggling offences in connection with the asylum seekers who have been streaming over the border from the United States in growing numbers in recent months.

RCMP say a significant amount of cash was found in a Regina home which was searched the following day.

Michelle Omoruyi, 43, was charged with one count each of human smuggling and conspiracy to commit human smuggling.

She was stopped after crossing at the Saskatchewan border in a vehicle carrying nine foreign nationals.

Omoruyi is scheduled to make her first court appearance in Estevan on May 15.

RCMP say they are not able to release any details on the arrests, but the U.S. Border Patrol is expected to release a statement when more information is available.

Many have claimed that at least in some cases there are likely organized groups or individuals helping to deliver people to the border and get them across.




US border patrol officials confirm a number of people were taken into custody south of the border near North Portal, N.D., on Friday.

Jason Evert, with the Canada Border Services Agency, said during a news conference on Wednesday that investigators uncovered evidence suggesting human smugglers were facilitating illegal border crossings in the area.

"They're conducting a parallel investigation on the south side of the border".

Of those stopped in March, 644 were picked up in Quebec, 170 in Manitoba and 71 in B.C., with lone crossers nabbed in Alberta and New Brunswick.

Some of those coming to Canada in spots such as Emerson, Man., have told authorities they were motivated to leave the US because of the new administration, fearful their asylum claims wouldn't be treated fairly or that general anti-immigrant sentiment was rising.

Others have been found to have had Canada in their sights all along as their final destination, obtaining USA visas exclusively for the goal of coming here. Safe Third Country Agreement - increases the problem of human smuggling and unlawful border crossings. Canadian police said their American counterparts also arrested people but would not say whether any charges had been laid.

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