NEWS

Mohamed El Shaer, an RCMP high-risk traveller, flees Canada

03/10/2015 11:44 EDT | Updated 05/10/2015 05:59 EDT
Mohamed El Shaer, a Windsor, Ont. man on an RCMP high-risk travellers list with ties to a known foreign fighter, has fled the country, according to police.

El Shaer pleaded guilty to passport fraud last December. El Shaer falsified information on a Canadian Citizenship and Immigration questionnaire he filed in Turkey in 2013 when trying to replace a passport.

Less than two months after his plea, he has left the country.

Insp. Lise Crouch, the officer in charge of the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team, said El Shaer is believed to have left the country sometime in mid-February. 

"We know he parted Canada, has no valid Canadian passport and was on probation at the time. Currently, we have a warrant for his arrest," she said.

El Shaer is friends with Ahmad Waseem, a Windsor man who fought with extremist groups in Syria and still believed to be fighting overseas. 

Both men are on a list of approximately 90 high-risk travellers the RCMP is watching. 

Police continue to investigate.

Passport fraud charges

El Shaer pleaded guilty in December to three charges, including passport fraud, breaking a court order not to leave the province and failing to make a court appearance. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail.

His lawyer Patrick Ducharme said he served 60 days and was out on probation when he left Canada.  

Within the past couple of weeks, Ducharme said he was contacted by authorities and asked if he knew the whereabouts of his former client.

"In their questioning I got the impression that they were wondering if he was travelling to a country such as Syria or in that area," Ducharme said.

He said he has not been in contact with El Shaer since his sentencing.

Ducharme said while representing El Shaer last year, he was made aware that his client was on a high-risk travellers list. 

"I was made aware of the fact that he ... had been placed on a list, meaning Canadian authorities were keeping an eye on him," he said.

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