JOGA Singh Badwal, 64, was charged last month with one count of smuggling 10 or more persons and one count of failing to bring persons for examination upon entering Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
The charges resulted after a lengthy and complex investigation by E Division RCMP Federal and Serious Organized Crime (FSOC, formerly known as Border Integrity Program).
Badwal’s next court date is scheduled for February 10 in Surrey.
Police said on Wednesday that the investigation began in 2010 after the RCMP became aware of some illegal cross-border movement between Canada and the United States.
In partnership with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Border Patrol, and Canada Border Services Agency, an investigation was launched focusing on the involvement of a South Asian male, alleged to have been utilizing his status as a spiritual leader within the South Asian community, to assist other members of that community in gaining entry to Canada.
“Human smuggling revolves around the facilitation of illegal entry into Canada,” said Inspector Cal Chrustie of FSOC. “Criminals demand large fees in exchange for providing assistance to individuals wishing to enter our country. These criminal activities undermine Canada’s security and compromise the safety of our communities. The RCMP works closely with both domestic and international partners to share information and detect and disrupt human smuggling.”
If you have any information on this or other criminal activities, contact your local police or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477.