Nova Scotia

Moroccan stowaway to make refugee claim

Border agents are interviewing a stowaway who was found aboard a container ship docked in Halifax.
Federal officials were called to this ship Tuesday after the crew discovered a stowaway. (CBC)

The Halifax Refugee Clinic says a Moroccan stowaway found aboard a container ship docked in Halifax plans to claim refugee status.

Border security agents were interviewing the man Wednesday.  He's in his 20s.

An official with the Canada Border Services Agency said the man was removed from a car carrier at the autoport on Tuesday.

Dominic Mallette, the agency's chief of operations in Nova Scotia, said the shipping company found the man and called the agency.

"They identified him through a regular routine inspection," said Mallette.

The ship, called Mignon, is owned by Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines. It left Sweden and stopped in Germany, Belgium and the U.K. before arriving in Nova Scotia on Tuesday.

The CBSA's Dominic Mallette says the man could be allowed to stay in Canada temporarily as a visitor. ((CBC))

Mallette said the man could be returned to his home country or allowed to stay in Canada temporarily as a visitor.

Julie Chamagne, the exective director of the Halifax Refugee Clinic, said she met with the man and believes he has a strong refugee case.

"Without telling you too much, without giving away his claim, I can say that I feel he does, from what I've managed to gather today, have a strong claim and we're already starting to research his particular situation in the country context," said Chamagne.

She said the man appeared to be in good health. It could take a year for him to get a hearing before the immigration and refugee board.

He is currently being detained at Burnside jail.

In February, two people were found hiding aboard the Atlantic Concert container ship. They were seeking refugee status.