Police lay human smuggling charges against Langley man

A Langley man, a spiritual leader, has been charged with human smuggling, according to the RCMP.

The Federal and Serious Organized Crime (FSOC) division of the Mounties announced Wednesday that Joga Singh Badwal, 64, has been charged with one count of smuggling 10 or more persons, and one count of failing to bring persons for examination upon entering Canada.

The RCMP suspect Badwal of bringing people into the country illegally.

The investigation was lengthy and complex, according to Sgt. Laurie White.

White said it began in 2010 when the RCMP first became aware of illegal cross border movement.

The RCMP partnered with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security, the U.S. Border Patrol, and the Canada Border Services Agency.

Police said Badwal used his position and status “as a spiritual leader within the South Asian community, to assist other members of that community in gaining entry to Canada.”

Officials did not say what happened to the people who entered Canada illegally, or where they crossed the border.

Insp. Cal Chrustie of FSOC said criminals typically demand large fees in exchange for bringing people across borders illegally. However, police would not comment on any particulars of this case.

The investigation is ongoing.

Badwal is next scheduled to be in court on Feb. 10 in Surrey.

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