Sri Lankan Tamil migrant should be deported for human smuggling, Canadian IRB told

Apr 08, Vancouver: A lawyer for Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) has told the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) to deport a Sri Lankan Tamil migrant for his role in the human smuggling operation that brought hundreds of Tamil refugees to Canada aboard the MV Sun Sea last August.

At a hearing before the IRB Thursday, Kenny Nicolaou, a lawyer for CBSA has said the Tamil migrant was one of the organizers of the human smuggling operation and asked the IRB to deport the man.

The Tamil migrant, who is identified only by a number, is the first refugee claimant from the MV Sun Sea to face the IRB over allegations of human smuggling.

The MV Sun Sea, a Thai cargo ship modified to accommodate people reached Vancouver in August 2010 with 492 Tamil asylum seekers on board.

Nicolaou has said the smugglers have contracted the Tamil migrant to work on the ship and he did not have to pay for his voyage.

The man has reportedly admitted that he was part of the 12-man crew but he was only a kitchen and engine room assistant and did not have a key role in the smuggling operation.

The lawyer has accused the man of lying to Canadian investigators and has said that he was the brother of a key organizer of the operation.

The Tamil migrant has said that he agreed to work in the ship in exchange for his $35,000 fee for the voyage to Canada.

“Without the 12-member crew and without their contribution, the MV Sun Sea would not have made its way to Canada,” Nicolaou has told the IRB.

“Those who facilitate the voyage’s journey, in particular the 12 crew members, are culpable of having engaged in the vessel’s transportation of 492 migrants, contrary to Canadian laws,” the lawyer has pointed out.

The IRB adjudicator Michael McPhalen has reserved his decision, Canadian media reported.

Canadian federal government authorities have accused 32 asylum seekers aboard the MV Sun Sea of having links with Sri Lanka’s vanquished terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The authorities have already ordered the deportation of two of those asylum seekers for their involvement in the banned terrorist outfit.

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