Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has blown the lid off a massive human smuggling operation from Toronto's Pearson International Airport involving a Sri Lankan-Canadian connection, according to reports reaching Colombo. The smuggling of humans to Canada stretches across boundaries spanning the USA, UK, Europe and Asia.

The arrest of a 37-year-old Sri Lankan Tamil on Tuesday in Montreal has led to the discovery of Canadian Dollars 750,000 (Rs.32,250,000) worth of equipment used in the manufacture of fake Canadian Passports, 135 forged blank citizenship cards and 250 lamination kits.

The Mounties are confident that more arrests will be made and this will help shed light on this covert operation that has been going on for years. A forged Canadian Passport fetches Canadian Dollars 25,000 (Rs. 1,075,000), while a Sri Lankan forged birth certificate and a National Identity Card can be bought for Canadian Dollars 100 (Rs. 4,300).

Meanwhile, a Federal Immigration Officer was charged on Wednesday as a member of an alleged human smuggling ring at Toronto's Pearson International Airport dealing with the smuggling of humans into Canada.

Jean Francois Levesque was one of a five-member team who were arrested during a three-month period. He was responsible for smuggling in 50 Koreans after charging them each a sum of Canadian Dollars 14,000 (Rs. 602,000), detectives said.

IANS adds: Two leaders of Sri Lankan Tamil gangs have been awarded jail terms after they pleaded guilty to criminal charges including conspiracy to assault and illegal possession of arms.

Judge Wake found that while Niranjan Fabian, 29, was involved in the illicit trade of forged passports, which would fetch $2,000 to $3,000 each, Sri Ranjan Rasa, 36, was an integral part of "criminal enterprise which had the potential to cause serious economic consequences." Judge Wake also said Rasa was directly involved in the "sinister" use and control of handguns relating violence involving two Tamil gangs.

It may be recalled that at a press conference last year, Metro Toronto Police had released details of Sri Lankan Tamil gangs operating in Toronto. These include the VVT and AK. Kannan gangs.

VVT refers to Valvetithurai, a town in northern Sri Lanka, while AK Kannan refers to the AK 47 assault rifle and the group leader, one Kannan.