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Masked Chinese migrant to be released, will live in Toronto
A Chinese man who entered Canada was disguised in a mask as an old Caucasian man.
VANCOUVER—A Chinese man who entered Canada disguised in a mask as an old Caucasian man was ordered released after more than three months of being detained.
Immigration and Refugee Board adjudicator Anita Merai-Schwartz ordered the migrant released Thursday on condition he post a $5,000 bond and report weekly to the Canada Border Services Agency.
In coming to the decision to release the migrant, Merai-Schwartz said he paid for entering Canada using money from his parents.
“Eight individuals apparently associated with this operation have been arrested in Hong Kong. Thus I do make the finding that in this regard you did use a human smuggling operation to get to Canada,” Merai-Schwartz said.
The migrant’s identity is protected by a publication ban.
Merai-Schwartz noted the man has remained in detention because of concerns that his large debt either to the smugglers or his parents could motivate him not to appear at his next refugee hearing.
“Additionally, you were found to be a flight risk due to evidence that you were vulnerable to and malleable by the snakeheads,” Merai-Schwartz said
But lawyer Daniel McLeod, who is representing the migrant, said a Chinese-Canadian closely linked to the young man’s family has agreed to post the bond and provide accommodation in Toronto.
According to previous hearings, the man boarded an Air Canada flight from Hong Kong last October wearing an elaborate latex mask similar to ones used in Hollywood movies. He removed it during the flight, prompting a warning from the Canada Border Services Agency that was later leaked to the media. He was arrested at the Vancouver International Airport.
As a condition of his release, he must report within a week to the CBSA office in Toronto where he will reside with the family friend. After that he must report weekly to CBSA. As a refugee claimant he is able to apply for a work permit.