POLITICS

Two men accused of organizing smuggling of Tamils by boat appear in B.C. court

05/16/2012 01:58 EDT | Updated 07/16/2012 05:12 EDT
VANCOUVER - Two men accused of helping to organize a mass smuggling operation into Canada have made a brief appearance in a Vancouver court.

Lesly Jana Emmanuel and Kunarobinson Christhurajah (kuna-robinson chris-th-raj-ah) each face a charge of helping a boatload of Tamil migrants make it to British Columbia's shores almost two years ago.

The men's appearance lasted only minutes while the judge set a June 5 court date for a bail hearing.

A third man arrested in France faces the same charge, and Ottawa is working on extraditing him back to Canada to stand trial.

There were 492 people aboard the boat when it landed near Victoria in August 2010 and so far just six of the migrants have been accepted as refugees.

After police announced charges Tuesday, both Immigration Minister Jason Kenny and Public Safety Minister Vic Toews congratulated the RCMP for its investigation, saying Canada won't tolerate abuse of the immigration system.