Elite unit hunts immigration offenders
The Toronto Sun, October 4, 2010
Three dangerous immigration offenders are being rounded up each week in the Toronto-area by a heavily-armed joint-forces Immigration Task Force headed by the RCMP.
The elite unit was created to go after some of the worst immigration offenders following the tragic 1994 murders of Const. Todd Baylis and Vivi Leimonis by illegal immigrants.
The units members have arrested more than 3,000 hardened cons who were sought on warrants for deportation or extradition from Canada, said unit commander RCMP Cpl. Tome Delov.
Delov said about 200 dangerous offenders yearly are arrested by his officers.
Officers extradited former financier Karlheinz Schreiber to Germany in August 2009 following a parliamentary inquiry into allegations that he bribed former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. They also extradited to the U.S. this year Yassir Ali Khan, and Mohammad Al-Sahli, both 30, who were sought by the FBI for allegedly trying to establish a separate Islamic nation within the U.S.
'Many of the fugitives are sought for extradition and we have to go after them,' Delov said on Thursday. 'Our officers go out and find them and bring them before the immigration process.'
He said some countries refuse to issue travel documents for their returnees, who are involved in serious crimes involving drugs, firearms or violence.
'The fugitives are sought on immigration or criminal warrants,' Delov said.
'Our officers make about three arrests a week.'
The ITF includes officers of Toronto Police, the OPP and the Canada Border Services Agency.
The unit was formed in response to the murders of Baylis by Clinton Gayle, who was deported twice to Jamaica and Vivi Leimonis who was shot to death while sitting in a Toronto restaurant.
The four Leimonis suspects were non-Canadians with serious criminal convictions in Canada and some were under deportation orders.