Saskatchewan

Regina couple sentenced in Canada-U.S. human smuggling case

It will be a combination of time behind bars and community service for a married Saskatchwan couple that has been sentenced for charges related to human smuggling.

Judge fines couple a combined $30K

Michelle and Victor Omoruyi helped nine people get across the U.S. and Canada border in April 2017. They were found in Michelle's vehicle on the Canadian side of the border. (Facebook)

A married couple in Saskatchewan have been sentenced on charges related to human smuggling.

Victor and Michelle Omoruyi were accused of helping nine people from West Africa cross the U.S. border into Canada last spring.

They both pleaded guilty to violating the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and were sentenced in Estevan provincial court Monday.

Their charges under the human smuggling and trafficking section of the act apply to organizing entry into Canada.

Section 117.1 states: "No person shall organize, induce, aid or abet the coming into Canada of one or more persons knowing that, or being reckless as to whether, their coming into Canada is or would be in contravention of this act."

Victor was sentenced to nine months in custody and ordered to pay a $20,000 fine in lieu within seven years.

Michelle received a 12-month conditional sentence order. She must follow a curfew for two months, check in with a supervisor and complete 40 hours of community service within the next six months. She also has to pay a $10,000 fine in lieu within two years.

Both were also handed a $200 surcharge.

Victor was sentenced to six months last August in the U.S. for harbouring and transporting an alien and was deported to Saskatoon directly after.

The charge has to do with the same case, in which nine Nigerian citizens seeking asylum were intercepted while crossing into Canada in April 2017.

About the Author

Alex Soloducha is a reporter for CBC Saskatchewan.

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