A man convicted of smuggling 34 Chinese migrants into Canada has been sentenced to serve three and a half years in prison.

Michael Shun Lok Kong’s sentence, delivered Friday at the Richmond Provincial Court, also requires him to pay a $175,000 fine and hand over another $135,000 in cash that was stashed away in his home. 

Kong facilitated the illegal entry between June 2014 and October 2015. All of those smuggled had American visas issued by the US consulate in China before walking across the border into BC.

The migrants were smuggled into BC, and then transported to Toronto where they made their asylum claims.

Kong was on the Canada Border Services Agency’s radar for some time. He was convicted of prior immigration violations in 2010 and 2013.

As True North reported exclusively, a majority of the illegal border crossers apprehended by the RCMP along BC’s border were of “unknown nationality.” 

As of May 17, 2019, 90 people were arrested along the border for crossing into Canada illegally and the nationalities of 48 were listed as “unknown” or “unidentified.” 

The CBSA confirmed some individuals with an unknown nationality were sent to them by the RCMP despite having undergone preliminary security screenings. 

“For various reasons, there are times when the CBSA cannot immediately determine a person’s country of origin upon their arrival in Canada. Next steps are dependent on the circumstances of the specific case, and all persons are processed in accordance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act,” said CBSA spokesperson Luke Reimer. 

Among those with an identified nationality who illegally crossed the border into Canada in 2019 were migrants from Afghanistan, Colombia, Mexico, India, and Saudi Arabia among others. 

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