Smuggling News – Thunder From Under http://thunderfromunder.com/ Sun, 02 Jan 2022 23:51:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://thunderfromunder.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/thunder-from-under-icon.png Smuggling News – Thunder From Under http://thunderfromunder.com/ 32 32 BSF partners with NGOs to control cattle smuggling in Bangladesh https://thunderfromunder.com/bsf-partners-with-ngos-to-control-cattle-smuggling-in-bangladesh/ Sun, 02 Jan 2022 22:10:08 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/bsf-partners-with-ngos-to-control-cattle-smuggling-in-bangladesh/ IN WHICH indicates that the smuggling of cattle from India to Bangladesh has been combated effectively, seizures of cattle along the eastern borders have fallen sharply in recent years. The latest data available from the Home Office (MHA) shows that seizures of cattle by the Border Security Force (BSF) at the Bangladesh border were only 20,415 until November 2021, up from 1 53,602 in 2015.

Data from the past seven years shows that 2018 was a turning point when livestock foreclosures fell almost 50% to 63,716, down from 1,19,299 in 2017. The numbers have fallen sharply in the past two years: 46,809 in 2019 and 20,415 in 2021.

Since coming to power in May 2014, the BJP-led government has placed particular emphasis on protecting cows and combating contraband cattle.

In 2015, speaking to BSF staff at a West Bengal border post, then Home Secretary Rajnath Singh said he wanted the force to crack down on contraband cattle so severely that the Bangladesh would stop eating beef.

Since then, the force has deployed additional personnel to monitor the border around the clock and stop the smuggling of cattle. He acquired more speedboats to hunt smugglers carrying cattle across rivers. He also took coercive action by firing lethal and non-lethal weapons at these cross-border criminals. Last year, in a statement, the BSF called cattle trafficking an act of “sedition”.

Sources at the BSF, however, said there were other reasons for the sharp decline in livestock seizures. “Previously, after we seized cattle, it was handed over to the customs authorities who put them up for auction. Cattle put up for auction were most often bought by the same smugglers who brought them back to the border. This has increased the number of seizures, ”explained a senior BSF officer.

In 2018, these auctions were stopped. “The local police were supposed to take possession of the seized cattle, but they did not cooperate. Thus, the BSF took care of the seized cattle with the help of certain NGOs and then handed them over to the cow shelters. BSF had to bear expenses, but this reduced the number of seizures, ”explained the officer.

Sources said other factors include Bangladesh increasing its own dairy capacity over the years and developments in the hinterland which have restricted the transport of livestock to the border. “The Haryana breed of cows is barely seized at the border now. But those from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar continue to arrive. If state governments act, BSF won’t have to do this job, ”said another BSF officer.

The decline in livestock seizures has also coincided with the decline in attacks on BSF staff by smugglers. From 103 injured BSF personnel in 2015, the figure has fallen to just 63 in 2021. This does not mean, however, less active interception efforts by the border guard force. Data shows that both lethal and non-lethal weapon fire by the BSF has remained constant over this period.

According to the data, there were 219 incidents of lethal gunfire involving the BSF at the Bangladesh border in 2015, which has now grown to 244 in 2021. In fact, that number was below 200 in just two years: 2017 (139) and 2018 (77). The year 2016 saw the maximum number of lethal weapon shooting incidents at 355.

Likewise, the fire from pump or pellet guns, which the BSF uses to deter cross-border criminals, also remained constant during the period.

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The role of corruption and drugs in the insurgency of Thailand’s Deep South – Analysis – Eurasia Review https://thunderfromunder.com/the-role-of-corruption-and-drugs-in-the-insurgency-of-thailands-deep-south-analysis-eurasia-review/ Fri, 31 Dec 2021 23:11:17 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/the-role-of-corruption-and-drugs-in-the-insurgency-of-thailands-deep-south-analysis-eurasia-review/
Why any negotiated solution to the insurgency will be extremely difficult

Institutional corruption and drug trafficking in Thailand’s deep south are important dynamics of the ongoing insurgency. These two issues have often been overlooked in most analyzes of regional conflict.

Until the early 2000s, drug trafficking in southern Thailand was mainly controlled by the Chinese diaspora based in Hat Yai, in Songkhla province. Hat Yai is the main railway junction in the south and the junction of major roads. The city has become the main transit point for heroin shipped from the Golden Triangle to Malaysia and the rest of the world via Sadao, near the border.

As the Chinese mafia shifted from narcotics and prostitution to legitimate businesses, the Deep South provinces and Yala and Narathiwat became larger smuggling transit points, taken over by local Thai-Chinese.

With porous borders along the mountainous areas of Yala, the Golok River along much of Narathiwat, and an area of ​​high seas along the Patani coastal region, the Deep South has become the main smuggling region.

With the decline in the importance of heroin and the increase in demand for methamphetamines and crystal meth, this illegal trade has become much more fragmented. In addition to the production of narcotics in the Golden Triangle, producers are also emerging from countries like Cambodia, which brings more players into the trade.

According to Thai authorities, the drug trade in the Deep South has become closely linked with insurgent groups.

It was not necessarily designed by the central command of the insurgency groups. The command and control of insurgent groups such as Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) is not centralized, where the base cells most often act autonomously. These cells are exploited by middle-aged Malaysian residents and, more recently, young Malaysians, who have become involved in narcotics as users and sellers. According to sources, some operate protection rackets for smugglers in what one might call “tolls”, while others are more directly involved in smuggling. Others act as “guns” to protect gang territory and maintain the line between competing gangs.

Other sources report that rogue members of the Thai security forces are intensely involved in smuggling through southern border areas. Thai authorities have invested more than 264 billion baht in equipment and infrastructure, which is a perfect cover for illicit activities in the southern border provinces.

With over 50,000 military and paramilitaries in the region, and an equal number of officials working at the provincial and district levels, there are enormous opportunities for corrupt activity.

Areas where massive corruption takes place at the government level lie in annual military and civilian budget allocations, equipment purchases, infrastructure construction, and awarding of service contracts to third parties. The leakage of annual budgets could be more than 30 percent. This level of corruption is a deterrent for any peace agreement that would result in a dramatic reduction in the military presence and activities in the southern border provinces.

About 25 percent of the 7,000 deaths during the insurgency were caused by disputes and violence over drug trafficking in the region, which the United Nations is estimated to be worth between $ 30 billion and $ 61 billion annually in Thailand. . Much of this trade passes through the deep south.

Much of this insurgent funds has been laundered through Islamic savings cooperatives and Wakafs, or endowments to finance micro, small and medium enterprises in Patani, Yala and Narathiwat. As a result, the illicit drug trade has become a major pillar of local community development. To some extent, this source of funding has become a powerful tool for the insurgents to gain support and empower Muslim communities. The insurgents were able to offer the Muslim community assistance that the Thai authorities did not provide.

Muslim communities in Thailand’s southern border province are currently facing a narcotics epidemic where around 35% of the population is addicted to a cocktail of local kratom leaves, cough syrup and Coca Cola, often cut diced with ice. Most users are between 14 and 24 years old.

The Deep South Thailand uprising seen in this perspective helps explain why both sides have little enthusiasm for peace negotiations, which does very little to bring about a transition to peace in the region. At present, there are incentives to maintain the status quo so that money can continually be earned through embezzlement and leakage of funding through corruption, and smuggling of fuel, weapons. illegal, human trafficking and drug trafficking can continue unabated.

Murray Hunter’s blog can be accessed here

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Emirates passenger tries to smuggle MAD 2.8million worth of diamonds into Dubai https://thunderfromunder.com/emirates-passenger-tries-to-smuggle-mad-2-8million-worth-of-diamonds-into-dubai/ Thu, 30 Dec 2021 13:59:09 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/emirates-passenger-tries-to-smuggle-mad-2-8million-worth-of-diamonds-into-dubai/

Diamonds valued at over $ 770,000 (MAD 2.8 million) were found hidden in the luggage of a passenger on a flight to Dubai from India.

Customs officials at Chennai International Airport intercepted a passenger who was due to board an Emirates flight to the United Arab Emirates early in the morning on Tuesday, December 28.

Authorities responded to specific information gathered during an investigation and found the diamonds hidden inside the telescoping handle of the passenger stroller suitcase.

The 1,052.72-carat diamonds were valued at around $ 773,970 (Dh 2.84 million).

Passengers traveling to or from the United Arab Emirates with more than Dh 100,000 in cash, or an equivalent amount in any other currency or other financial instrument, must declare this to customs.

All precious metals or stones with a value of 60,000 Dh or more must also be declared.

Anyone importing gemstones to the UAE above this amount must provide supporting documents upon arrival, such as original invoices from an exporting company with their stamp and signature, a packing list showing quantity and a list of jewelry studding details.

According to customs law, the penalty for smuggling undeclared items into the UAE can range from a fine to three months in prison, as well as confiscation of goods and tools used in the smuggling process.

Brazen smuggling attempts: in pictures

Updated: December 30, 2021, 13:58


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India News | Man involved in smuggling 52 kg of heroin, detained https://thunderfromunder.com/india-news-man-involved-in-smuggling-52-kg-of-heroin-detained/ Tue, 28 Dec 2021 17:56:11 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/india-news-man-involved-in-smuggling-52-kg-of-heroin-detained/

Kapurthala, December 28 (PTI) Punjab police said on Tuesday they had arrested a man allegedly involved in smuggling 52 kg of heroin which was seized by Jammu and Kashmir police last month.

The accused has been identified as Happy alias Gabbar from Mehtabgarh in Kapurthala. Kapurthala Chief Superintendent of Police Harkamalpreet Singh Khakh said the 52 kg shipment of heroin, which was on its way from Jammu and Kashmir to Punjab, was intercepted by Union Territory Police November 24.

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Jammu police last month recovered 52 kg of heroin from a truck on the Jammu-Srinagar highway. It had been smuggled into the Punjab.

Khakh said that after specific information, the police set up a checkpoint on Nadala road, near Tajpur-Kapurthala road, to check vehicles.

Read also | Madhya Pradesh: Karamveer Sharma, collector of Jabalpur, orders to withhold his own salary for non-resolution of pending complaints.

During the check, the police arrested a person for possession of 100 grams of heroin.

During the preliminary investigation, the person allegedly confessed to his involvement in the loading of 52 kg heroin which was transported to the Punjab.

The drugs were smuggled across the border and were to be brought to Punjab, the SSP said.

(This is an unedited, auto-generated story from the Syndicated News Feed, the staff at LatestLY may not have edited or edited the body of the content)

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Captagon pills (Akapoor man’s cocaine) flood oil-rich Arab states https://thunderfromunder.com/captagon-pills-akapoor-mans-cocaine-flood-oil-rich-arab-states/ Mon, 27 Dec 2021 03:32:00 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/captagon-pills-akapoor-mans-cocaine-flood-oil-rich-arab-states/



ANI |
Update:
Dec. 27 2021 09:02 STI

By Jean Solomou
Nicosia [Cyprus], December 27 (ANI): A counterfeit version of Captagon, highly addictive, has become the drug of choice for young people in oil-rich countries of the Arabian Gulf and mainly Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. Since it is much cheaper than cocaine, many people call it “poor man’s cocaine”.
Not a week goes by without it being announced that customs or other authorities in various countries have confiscated millions of counterfeit Captagon pills. It should be noted, however, that, as a rule, drugs seized by authorities represent less than a tenth of the illicitly imported Captagon pills, which have become the new rage in the region.
Captagon was first produced in Germany to treat narcolepsy and depression, among others. It was banned in the 1980s when doctors decided that its addictive effect outweighed its benefits. Asfenethylline, the amphetamine used in the long-banned brand name version, has been a controlled substance for decades and is currently quite difficult to obtain legally, illicit manufacturers use other amphetamines in the counterfeit version.
Unlike cocaine and heroin, the basic ingredients of counterfeit Captagon are easy to obtain and therefore it is much cheaper to produce than the other two drugs. The pills often contain amphetamine and caffeine or, less commonly, methamphetamine and ephedrine.
A Captagon pill costs only a few cents to produce in Syria or Lebanon and can be sold for up to US $ 20. Thus, smugglers and smugglers can earn billions of dollars every year.
In 2020, the value of pills seized from Syria was estimated at $ 3.46 billion. The manufacturing of Captagon pills has become a major, albeit illegal, industry for Syria and Lebanon, which as of 2019 had other combined total exports worth less than $ 5 billion.
On December 1, Saudi authorities seized a whopping 30.3 million tablets of the drug that were hidden in imported cardamom. Dubai police discovered $ 15.8 million worth of captagon pills hidden in a shipment of lemons on December 23.
In November, Dubai Customs foiled an attempt to smuggle around 80,000 Captagon tablets hidden in the body of a car trunk. Earlier this year, Kuwaiti customs officials foiled an attempt to smuggle more than three million Captagon tablets in a container that arrived in the country. In Qatar, customs at the port of Ruwais foiled the smuggling of banned narcotic pills Captagon after an inspector suspected a refrigerated truck engine. A total of 7,330 tablets were seized during the inspection.
The Greek Coast Guard intercepted a Syrian-flagged vessel on December 5 as it passed the island of Crete. After a search, they seized Captagonpills and hashish that were hidden in double-bottomed shipping containers amid spices, coffee and sawdust. The value of the confiscated drugs exceeds US $ 100 million.
The largest transport of the Captagon, amounting to 14 tonnes and a market value of over US $ 1.16 billion, was carried out in July last year in the port of Salerno in containers at Dubai destination.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), between 2015 and 2019, more than half of all Captagon pills seized in the Middle East were in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis have insinuated that Lebanese Hezbollah is behind the production and transportation of cannabis and Captagon which find their way into the Kingdom.
Captagon became popular in the Middle East during the Syrian War, as it numbed fear and helped fighters stay awake and endure tough battles. This is why some also call it “the jihadist magic potion”. The BBC said it was “the conflict fueling drugs in Syria.
The drug provides a boost of energy, improves a person’s ability to do dangerous things, helps people stay awake longer, and produces a feeling of euphoria, which can be helpful in combat conditions. In contrast, Captagon is very addicting.
As the war in Syria dragged on, the various parties to the conflict began to manufacture and traffic Captagon, as it generated considerable income and helped them finance their wars. Eventually, drug trafficking created its own underground economy both in Syria and in the Hezbollah-controlled areas of Lebanon.
Some government officials in these two countries would turn a blind eye to the trafficking of Captagon, as it brings in much-needed foreign exchange and has even become much more important than other exports.
The Saudi government banned exports from Lebanon last October, dealing a heavy blow to the Beirut government, which is facing a crippling political and economic crisis.
Riyadh wants the Lebanese government to put the brakes on Hezbollah, which the Saudis say is behind Lebanon’s drug exports. Saudi Arabia has criticized Lebanon’s failure to “stop the export of the scourge of drugs … to the kingdom, especially in light of the control of all ports by terrorist Hezbollah.”
It must be said, however, that Hezbollah categorically denies being involved in drug trafficking.
Some researchers believe boredom and social restrictions are the main cause of drug use in the oil-rich Gulf states, and suggest that easing these restrictions could go a long way in preventing the creation of new addicts.
Saudi Arabia alone accounts for more than a third of global amphetamine seizures per year, and three quarters of patients treated, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime World Drug Report. for drug problems there are addicts, almost exclusively in the form of Captagon. Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have reported similar peaks in seizures of several million drug tablets over the past two years.
As Captagon generates huge profits for illicit manufacturers and drug traffickers and is relatively inexpensive, it will continue to be widely used in the wealthy Gulf Arab states and could become a major problem for those states over the years. coming years.
(Disclaimer: The author of this opinion piece is John Solomou, who writes on West Asian politics. Opinions are personal) (ANI)

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Bhondsi prison inmate caught smuggling drugs | News from Gurgaon https://thunderfromunder.com/bhondsi-prison-inmate-caught-smuggling-drugs-news-from-gurgaon/ Sat, 25 Dec 2021 02:28:00 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/bhondsi-prison-inmate-caught-smuggling-drugs-news-from-gurgaon/ Gurgaon: A 21-year-old inmate from Bhondsi prison has been convicted of drug trafficking in the prison. The detainee was taken for a court hearing and upon his return was caught smuggling sulfonamide hidden in his shoes.
Brijesh Singh (21), convicted of murder, robbery and assault and an inmate from Bhondsi prison was sent to Jhajjar court on December 22 for a hearing. On his return from court, the detainee was subjected to checks at the entry gate. While checking in, prison officers found a packet of sulfa drugs hidden in her shoes.
“He had left in bathroom slippers for the hearing, but upon his return he was wearing a new pair of shoes and clothes. He was also carrying a bag of clothes, ”said a prison official. Singh has been held at Bhondsi Prison since October 2020.
Prison officials said inmates are sent with police for court hearings and are not supposed to allow inmates to meet with family and friends without prior permission from the court or the prison department. The police should ensure that detainees do not engage in any illegal activity during their visit to the court, and illegal assemblies should be restricted. Bhondsi Prison Director Harinder Singh said inmates returning from parole, court and hospital visits often carried medicine, SIM cards and cell phones on their return. “We carry out strict screening and every time they enter the prison premises, they have to undergo three levels of screening to prevent them from carrying items inside the prison,” Singh said. In addition to baggage scanners, detainees must undergo a strict physical search.
Previously, there had been regular complaints about the use of cellphones for extortion calls, but now prison officials say the situation is under control as the department regularly watches CCTV footage. In addition to that, they also perform regular search operations. Source link

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IRBn agent among four detained in Naharlagun drug trafficking case https://thunderfromunder.com/irbn-agent-among-four-detained-in-naharlagun-drug-trafficking-case/ Thu, 23 Dec 2021 09:06:14 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/irbn-agent-among-four-detained-in-naharlagun-drug-trafficking-case/

Four people, including an IRBn agent, were arrested in Naharlagun in Arunachal Pradesh for their alleged involvement in drug trafficking.

Acting on the basis of accurate information, a team of Naharlagun police, under the direct supervision of SDPO Abhimanyu Poswal, launched an operation and arrested suspected drug trafficker Sagar Das.

During questioning, Das told police that he bought the drugs from a certain Sofirudin Ali and another Asmot Ali, residents of Laluk, in northern Assam.

Based on her confession, the police arrested them both and recovered narcotics and money in their possession.

They further revealed that they bought the drugs from a policeman, who was later identified as Ct Jumkar Lingu of 3rd IRBn. The police also recovered and seized narcotics and money in his possession.

On December 21, a team of police took three boys to Naharlagun Police Station on suspicion of using narcotics.

During questioning, the trio revealed that they had brought drugs from a certain Sagar Das, a resident of Sector B in Naharlagun.

During police interrogation it was discovered that Ct Jumkar Lingu was the backbone of the whole operation and that he used his uniform to procure drugs in Assam and sell them to young victims of drug addiction. of the region through Sofirudin Ali, Asmot Ali and Sagar Das.

ASS

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Six men accused of smuggling cocaine worth £ 160million could face two trials https://thunderfromunder.com/six-men-accused-of-smuggling-cocaine-worth-160million-could-face-two-trials/ Tue, 21 Dec 2021 12:45:46 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/six-men-accused-of-smuggling-cocaine-worth-160million-could-face-two-trials/

Six men accused of trafficking two tons of cocaine worth an estimated £ 160million could now face two trials next year.

Plymouth Crown Court has heard that there is not a single courtroom on the circuit that can accommodate all defendants on the same platform.

The court must, by law, strive to hold the trial within a certain timeframe if suspects are in custody – which all men are.

Read more: Disability claimant “played squash and attended fitness classes”

Judge William Mousley has said no Western Circuit court can accommodate the trial, which is due to start on March 9 next year.

The Crown Prosecution Service will now decide whether to lobby for two trials involving smaller groups.

A previous judge said managing prisoners was made more difficult due to restrictions on coronaviruses.

The defendants did not attend the last hearing but were represented by their lawyers.



A gang accused of attempting to smuggle cocaine worth £ 160million into Britain on a yacht have appeared in court. At the top right is Brynie Sjogreen.

They were arrested after a luxury yacht was stopped in the English Channel 80 miles from the mainland coast and brought to Plymouth two months ago.

Five of the six men believed to be on the Kahu have pleaded not guilty to a joint count of drug trafficking.

One Briton Andrew Cole, 32, of Norton Road, Stockton-on-Tees, has been allowed to postpone his plea.

The six defendants are accused of knowingly being concerned with the transport or concealment of a Class A drug on a ship in Plymouth between August 21 and September 10.



Transport of £ 160million of cocaine discovered on luxury yacht off Plymouth
Transport of £ 160million of cocaine discovered on luxury yacht off Plymouth

They would have known or had reasonable grounds to suspect that the cocaine was being smuggled into the UK.

Nicaraguan Billy Downs, 50, Denson White-Morales, 35, Edwin Taylor-Morgan, 40, Brynie Sjogreen, 39, and Ryan Taylor, 43, have all pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors said the six men were on board the yacht Kahu when it was arrested in international waters near Guernsey on September 9.

Border Force and National Crime Agency agents intercepted and embarked the Kahu, finding two tons of cocaine worth an estimated £ 160million.

Australian Federal Police were also involved.

Border Force Maritime Command’s 42-meter “Searcher” cutter and 19-meter coastal patrol vessel “Alert” had followed the yacht.

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Read more: Tavistock man caught in drug trafficking

Read more: Urgent advocacy as Derriford hospital faces exceptional challenges

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Jury Sentences Noah Landfried, Michel Cercone and Anthony Smith in Pennsylvania Prison Drug Operation https://thunderfromunder.com/jury-sentences-noah-landfried-michel-cercone-and-anthony-smith-in-pennsylvania-prison-drug-operation/ Sun, 19 Dec 2021 17:06:04 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/jury-sentences-noah-landfried-michel-cercone-and-anthony-smith-in-pennsylvania-prison-drug-operation/

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania. (WKBN) – A federal jury has convicted three men in a drug smuggling operation in the Pennsylvania prison system.

Noah Landfried, Michel Cercone and Anthony Smith were found guilty of conspiring to distribute Schedule I and II controlled substances between 2017 and 2019, according to United States Prosecutor Cindy K. Chung.

Landfried and Cercone were also convicted of conspiracy to launder the proceeds of drug trafficking between 2017 and 2019. Additionally, Landfried was convicted of distributing at least 40 grams of a mixture.
containing fentanyl on June 18, 2018.

Landfried, 37, from Moon Township; Cercone, 48, of Sewickley; and Smith, 30 from Homestead; will be sentenced by United States District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan.

In rendering its verdict, the jury determined that Landfried was responsible for at least five kilograms of cocaine, at least 100 grams of heroin and at least 40 grams of fentanyl; and Cercone was responsible for at least 500 grams of cocaine.

Landfried and Smith were at liberty under federal supervision on previous drug trafficking convictions at the time.

“The United States has proven that Noah Landfried, the leader of this illicit operation, and his co-conspirators waged a massive drug conspiracy that involved the sale of Schedule I and II drugs within the federal prison system. Inmate accounts were used to collect and pay for drugs. Landfried and Cercone were also found guilty of laundering drug products, ”Chung said.

More than 15 agencies participated in this survey.

This lawsuit is the result of an investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).

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American convicted of human trafficking case receives prison term https://thunderfromunder.com/american-convicted-of-human-trafficking-case-receives-prison-term/ Sat, 18 Dec 2021 01:16:45 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/american-convicted-of-human-trafficking-case-receives-prison-term/

The owner of an inn near Blaine who helped smuggle foreign nationals into Canada has been sentenced to jail and probation.

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The owner of a bed and breakfast in Blaine who helped smuggle foreign nationals into Canada was sentenced to jail and 30 months probation.

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In August, Robert Joseph Boule, 72, owner of Smuggler’s Inn, pleaded guilty to one violation of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and one count of breaching his bond.

The immigration offense involved helping seven foreign nationals – from Afghanistan and Syria – enter Canada without an appropriate U.S. visa, from May 2018 to March 2019.

The foreign nationals, mostly adult males but comprising several families, had traveled from various locations in the United States to Washington State, where they met Boule. They paid Boule between $ 200 and $ 700 each, who then helped them enter Canada.

Although seven were named in Boule’s indictment, a total of 11 actually entered Canada.

Boule was on bail for similar offenses at the time and was charged with violating these bail conditions when he helped more people cross the border from his Washington state hostel, located near Zero Avenue, Surrey. The initial charges against him were stayed by the Crown.

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Imposing her sentence on Friday, BC Supreme Court Justice Nitya Iyer said she viewed Boule’s immigration offense as being on the lower end of the spectrum.

Boule had helped people cross the border through his facility, but his assistance was not sophisticated, the judge said after two days of sentencing by the Crown and the defense.

The offender had failed to search for the foreign nationals, charged them “relatively modest” fees and made no arrangements for them after crossing the border, the judge said.

All foreign nationals were arrested on arrival in Canada and subsequently made refugee claims and remain in the country.

The judge sentenced Boule to a suspended sentence and 15 months probation for the immigration offense.

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She considered the breach of his bail to be more serious and sentenced him to 30 days in jail, but said that amounted to time served since he had already spent some time in custody after his arrest. The judge also imposed 30 months probation for the bail violation, to be served concurrently.

The Crown had requested a jail term of 12 to 15 months followed by a period of probation while the defense initially argued for a conditional sentence to be served in the community, but later claimed that a sentence conditional sentence was more appropriate.

Boule’s bail conditions include keeping the peace and being of good behavior, residing in his hostel, and no longer helping anyone enter Canada illegally.

In a brief statement to the court, Boule, who has numerous health issues, apologized for his actions.

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“When I make a mistake, I try to take responsibility for it. In this case, I made a big mistake. This is why I plead guilty. I am sorry for the court, the citizens and the Government of Canada.

kfraser@postmedia.com

twitter.com/keithrfraser


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