|After pressure from QMI Agency and Sun News, the Canada Border Services Agency has released the names and details of 30 war criminals wanted in the country, mostly in Toronto.
TORONTO – It took QMI Agency persistence and political pressure to force Canada Border Services Agency into beginning an all-out public manhunt for dozens of alleged war criminals hiding in Canada.
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said he fought long and hard with his staff and lawyers to publicly identify the 30 most wanted suspects who are on the lam from authorities.
And Immigration Minister Jason Kenney vowed the fugitives will "find no haven" here.
After newspaper, TV and website reports by QMI Agency and Sun News Network, Toews said he ordered the secretive CBSA to scour its files for suspects sought on warrants, and released their images and biographies Thursday.
Toews said members of the affected communities know who the suspects are and can call a toll-free number to report them to authorities.
"These war criminals gained notoriety through Sun Media," Toews told reporters at a CBSA office in Toronto. "I then sat down with the CBSA and asked why can't we identify them."
He said the suspects used phoney documents or claimed to be from other countries when they arrived here to file refugee claims. Most of the alleged war criminals are from Rwanda, Central and South America and the Balkan States.
They were supposed to show up for hearings but never did and warrants were issued, officials said, suggesting many are being hidden by sympathizers from their homelands.
Toews said few leads were being generated to nab the suspects, so he decided, in a rare move, to go public with the search.
“We hope new information will help our law enforcement officials track them down and remove them from Canada," he said. "I hope we can work up some new leads and bring these people to justice."
The CBSA website's "Most Wanted" page contains each suspect's name, photo and identifying features such as scars or limps and country of origin. It also lists the last known city where the suspect was living. No details of the crimes or human-rights abuses they are accused of were provided.
Kenney said the suspected war criminals lied and cheated to get here and "will be rounded up and kicked out of Canada.
"Those who are involved in war crimes or crimes against humanity will find no haven on our shores," Kenney said. "Should they arrive here by fraud, they will be identified, they will be located and they will face the consequences."
Kenney said laws are being put in place to prevent suspects from filing repeated appeals as they await deportation.
The Rwandan community points to the case of Hutu henchman, Leon Mugesara, who lives in Quebec City, and has been fighting deportation since 1995 for alleged crimes against humanity.
Mugesara, a university professor, arrived as a refugee claimant and was granted permanent residence in 1993. He is described as "an architect" of the genocide.
CBSA president Luc Portelance said about 4,000 suspected war criminals have been intercepted from reaching Canadian borders since 1997.
Portelance said 15,000 offenders were deported from Canada last year and about 1,800 of those were deemed inadmissible.
He said extra staffing will be added to hunt for the alleged war criminals depending on the number of tips generated from the public.
Anyone who recognizes a suspect should call the Border Watch toll-free line at 1-888-502-9060.