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Home India Canadian police team in Gujarat to probe human smuggling deaths

Canadian police team in Gujarat to probe human smuggling deaths

Ahmedabad: A team of Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has landed in Gujarat in connection with the ongoing investigation into the death of four Indians on the US-Canada border in January 2022.

On January 19, 2022, the RCMP officers had found bodies of Jagdish Patel (39), his wife Vaishali (37), and their children Vihangi (12) and Dharmik (3), a few meters from the Canada-US border. They had frozen to death.

According to RCMP the Patel family — residents of Dingucha village in Gandhinagar district of Gujarat — had arrived in Toronto on January 12, 2022, their first point of entry into Canada. From Toronto, the family made their way to Manitoba and eventually to Emerson on, or about, January 18. As there was no abandoned vehicle on the Canadian side of the border, it was clear that someone drove the family to the border and then left the scene.

The Canadian police after investigation concluded that the case of Patels was of human smuggling. “With what we know so far of their activities in Canada, along with the arrest that occurred in the United States, we believe this to be a case of human smuggling,” a statement by the Canadian police read.

On Friday, sources in the Gujarat police said that two officers of the RCMP visited Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar on February 27 and 28. “The RCMP officers shared information they had about the human smuggling cases with the Ahmedabad crime branch (the agency that is probing the case in Gujarat) and collected local details on the Dingucha case,” the officer said.

Gujarat Police in the loopThe Gujarat Police had started investigating human smuggling racket operating from Gujarat following the deaths of four members of the Patel family last year.

“We have given them (RCMP officers) information about the human smugglers involved in sending Patel family from Dingucha to Canada,” he said.

Gujarat Police said that efforts were on to being three accused in the case— Rajinder Pal Singh, Fenil Patel and Bitta Singh alias Bittu Paji — to India from Canada.

According to Ahmedabad crime branch officials, Rajinder Pal Singh arrested in Washington last year had allegedly confessed to his involvement in the human trafficking and money laundering cases. Fenil Patel from Surat and Bitta Singh, who live in Canada, had provided the logistic support to the Patel family which included stay and travel. Seven others besides the Patel family had embarked on the illegal journey in January last year.

Following the tragic deaths of the Patel family, the Gujarat Police cracked down on human smuggling rackets in the state. The Ahmedabad crime branch had arrested one Yogesh Patel and his aide Bhavesh Patel from Kalol in Gandhinagar for allegedly sending Jagdish Patel and his family and seven others to Canada to illegally enter US. They have been charged with culpable homicide.

NB: The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Canada’s national police force, is unique in the world as a combined international, federal, provincial and municipal policing body.