Monday, October 19, 2009

Canadian police seizes vessel carrying 76 Sri Lankans

Canadian authorities are dealing with a shipload of would-be migrants claiming to be from Sri Lanka.

Police and the Canadian Navy boarded and took control of the vessel off the coast of British Columbia.

An intelligence tip-off that a vessel had entered Canadian waters off Vancouver Island led to the two-day police and military operation.

Seventy-six men, who told police they wanted to go to Canada, were taken off the ship and are being held in a detention centre.

The men are reported to be in good health and the ship, the Ocean Lady, is described as being seaworthy.

Canada's public safety minister Peter Van Loan says early indications are that the ship originated in Sri Lanka but that cannot be confirmed.

Officials in Ottawa say they will determine what to do with the group in the coming days.

The country's conservative prime minister, Stephen Harper, has been accused of bringing in tougher new immigration policies, leaving hundreds of thousands of people in the processing queue.

© ABC News

Related Links:
RCMP seizes vessel carrying 76 off B.C. coast - CBC News
Canadians intercept migrant ship - BBC

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