Missing foreign criminals: 'Urgent' CBSA response needed

Missing Foreign Criminals: An

DAY

Last December, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) admitted to having “lost track” of 29,719 people likely to be deported from the country, including 469 known criminals. When faced with the same questions ten months later, the Agency refused to release the numbers. 

Among these “disappeared” foreign criminals are about 30 criminals guilty of serious crimes, including homicide or multiple sexual offenses. Some of them have been wanted for so long that the arrest warrant has expired, reads an article in the “Globe and mail” on the subject.

Raquel Dancho, the Conservative Shadow Public Safety Minister, says the government needs to answer urgent questions about the number of foreign criminals still missing. She said that “allowing violent criminals at high risk of recidivism to walk our streets” puts Canadians at risk.

“The Minister of Public Safety must explain to Canadians how and why they enabled multiple violent offenders who were serving sentences for murder and sexual offenses to be knowingly released into our communities,” she added.

For Conservative Senator Don Plett, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, serious questions deserve serious answers. “[Ministers] should stop hiding behind their talking points and instead take the time necessary to ensure that dangerous individuals are expeditiously expelled from the country,” he said.

The consequences of the pandemic

Many deportations were suspended in 2020 due to the pandemic and travel restrictions imposed on the population, facilitating the disappearance of hundreds of foreign criminals who were to be deported from the country after serving their sentences. The CBSA, however, refused to disclose the number of criminals it has lost track of over the past three years.

“The CBSA is strongly committed to ensuring the safety and security of Canadians. The removal of people who are inadmissible for criminality is of paramount importance,” said Agency spokesperson Rebecca Purdy.

Keep an eye out

Ethiopian sex offender Abirahman Moumin Okie, who goes by several aliases, is one of the criminals the CBSA has lost track of. Moreover, his last known address is in Montreal. At this time, he remains the subject of a Canada-wide warrant and is on the CBSA's wanted list.

“This person is inadmissible to Canada for serious criminality following convictions for forcible confinement, participation with another person in a sexual assault and conspiracy to commit a sexual assault”, can we read on the CBSA website.