WINDSOR (WWJ) – Two people are facing charges after they were allegedly caught trying to smuggle nearly a dozen foreign nationals into Canada via Detroit.
According to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), 42-year-old Paul Ngoue-Ngameleu and 50-year-old Henadez Makia Mbeh — both commercial truck drivers and residents of Quebec — were returning to Canada with a load of produce when the crime was discovered on September 21.
The men were away for a week, investigators said, and claimed they and had nothing to declare other than the commercial shipment. During an examination of the truck, border services officers discovered 11 foreign nationals hiding behind a curtain in the sleeper area of the truck, the CBSA said.
The foreign nationals were subsequently refused entry to Canada and returned to the U.S. The CBSA did say disclose the nationalities of the 11 people who were found.
Ngoue-Ngameleu and Makia Mbeh were charged under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), with 23 counts each including: 11 counts of counselling (where a person counsels another person to be a party to an offence); 11 counts of misrepresentation and withholding material facts; and one count of impeding an officer.
They were both released on bail and are scheduled to appear in the Ontario Court of Justice in Windsor on October 23.
“CBSA officers are highly trained in interrogation, examination and investigative techniques. This successful interception displays their ability to determine when a secondary examination is required and their commitment to ensuring that our borders are not used for illegal activity,” said Rick Comerford, Regional Director General, Southern Ontario Region, CBSA
Anyone with information about suspicious cross-border activity is encouraged to call the CBSA Border Watch toll-free line at 1-888-502-9060.