49 - 05/98 - Dramatic Increase in Cash Deposits for Deserters - Canada

In April 1998 a Member's ship was detained by a senior officer from the Canadian Immigration Authority as the result of the desertion of two crew members at the Port of Vancouver, British Columbia.

The Canadian Immigration Authority demanded a cash deposit or equivalent bond be put in place for Canadian Dollars 40,000 (C$ 20,000 per deserter). In similar situations in the past cash deposits of Canadian Dollars 7000 per deserter have been required. The Canadian Immigration Department do not recognise club letters of guarantee.  Eventually, with the assistance of the Club's correspondents and after the placing of the necessary security, the ship was released and allowed to sail.

The Club's correspondents in Canada advise that the requirement of cash deposits is at the discretion of the individual senior immigration officer at the particular Canadian port involved. They have authority to demand cash deposits of an unlimited amount. The substantial increase in the amount required in this case appears to indicate a hardening of attitude by the Canadian authorities to deserters in general, and in particular to deserters of Turkish, Iranian and Algerian origin.

Source of Information:  Peter Jackson, F6

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