Friday, 21 April 2017

Photos: Canada Police charge Michelle Omoruyi with human smuggling after she was intercepted with 9 refugees from West Africa near U.S. border

A 43-year-old woman, Michelle Omoruyi is facing charges of human smuggling in Regina, Saskatchewan, after she was intercepted on Friday night with nine foreigners from West Africa crossing the border into Canada from the United States. 

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police says Omoruyi who was driving a vehicle with the nine people in it after crossing north from the U.S. in an area between the North Portal and Northgate ports of entry, was arrested

She has been charged with one count of human smuggling under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and one count of conspiracy to commit human smuggling after a four-month RCMP investigation into asylum seekers crossing into Saskatchewan.

The nine people weren't harmed, and were all taken into custody by the Canada Border Services Agency. The have since been released and are now claiming refugee status.

Human smuggling in the Saskatchewan region has been investigated since December. Just before Christmas, border agents flagged a man who had been frequently using the North Portal entry for more investigation, and brought in RCMP investigators.

On Friday, U.S. border agents noted that the same man had crossed the border into North Dakota, and alerted the Canadians. That night, RCMP were flagged that a smuggling attempt may be in the works.

By 9 p.m. CST, the RCMP pulled over Omoruyi as she was driving in an isolated area north of the border. The nine asylum seekers were in the vehicle, according to police.

The man involved in the investigation was arrested by U.S. police. He has not been charged. RCMP with the assistance of CBSA and Regina Police, executed a search warrant at the house on Truesdale Drive belonging to the suspect and a significant amount of cash was seized.
"A fair portion of his this currency was foreign currency" said RCMPP Inspector Donovan Fisher.
Omoruyi was subsequently charged and will make her first appearance at Estevan Provincial Court on May 15.

Source: CBC News

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