Langley man charged with human smuggling

Joga Singh Badwal, 64, faces one count of smuggling 10 or more persons.

A 64-year-old Langley man said to be a spiritual leader in the South Asian community has been charged with human smuggling.

In December 2014, Joga Singh Badwal was formally charged under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. He faces one count of smuggling 10 or more persons and one count of failing to bring persons for examination upon entering Canada.

It is alleged that Badwal used his status as a spiritual leader within the South Asian community to assist other South Asians to gain entry into Canada.

Police say it was a lengthy and complex investigation by “E” Division RCMP Federal and Serious Organized Crime (FSOC, formerly known as Border Integrity Program).

The investigation began in 2010 after the RCMP became aware of some illegal cross border movement between Canada and the United States.

In partnership with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Border Patrol, and Canada Border Services Agency, an investigation was launched focusing on the involvement of Badwal.

“Human smuggling revolves around the facilitation of illegal entry into Canada,” says Insp. Cal Chrustie of FSOC. “Criminals demand large fees in exchange for providing assistance to individuals wishing to enter our country. These criminal activities undermine Canada’s security and compromise the safety of our communities.

“The RCMP works closely with both domestic and international partners to share information and detect and disrupt human smuggling,” says Chrustie.

Badwal’s next court date is scheduled for Feb.10, in Surrey.