Tamil migrants arrived in B.C. aboard the MV Sun Sea in August 2010. Image credit: Handout file photo.

Four-year sentence for man who smuggled Tamil migrants to Canada aboard MV Sun Sea

Christhurajah will walk free after spending seven years behind bars awaiting trial

A Sri Lankan man found guilty of smuggling Tamil migrants to Canada has walked free after receiving a four-year prison sentence.

Kunarobinson Christhurajah smiled as a British Columbia Supreme Court judge asked him to stand after announcing his sentence, saying the man won’t be serving any more time beyond the seven years he has spent behind bars awaiting trial.

Justice Catherine Wedge says Christhurajah was himself an asylum seeker aboard the MV Sun Sea, which was intercepted on B.C.’s coast in August 2010 with 492 passengers aboard after they’d left Thailand six weeks earlier.

Wedge cited a previous case in which three Chinese men were sentenced to four years in prison as part of an organized-crime-group that brought 190 illegal migrants to the West Coast in 1999.

Unlike in that case, Wedge says Christhurajah was not a mastermind or a leader and that he and his family experienced the same conditions as the other passengers.

A mistrial was declared in Christhurajah’s first trial in January when a jury failed to reach a verdict, but he was found guilty by another jury in May.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Collision closes Highway 97 in Vernon

Two vehicles involved in crash that has halted traffic

Mr. Mikes to open in place of Urban Market

Restaurant expected to be open by the summer

It’s all in the black for Roots & Blues

While they didn’t rake in the dough, the 2017 event made a modest profit

Accused Shuswap drug smuggler pleads not guilty in U.S. court

Colin Martin continues to fight allegations relating to cross-border drug smuggling operation

UPDATE: Police pursuit of wanted man ends in Sicamous roundabout

Manitoba man facing multiple charges following collision with SUV

What’s happening

Find out about events happening in your community this weekend

RCMP nail sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

Ice-cream-eating bear draws controversy

An Alberta Wildlife Park posted a video this week of one of their bears going through a Dairy Queen drive-through

Ice sculpting trio headed to Quebec Winter Carnival

Silver Star 2017 ice sculpture winners qualify for national competition.

Fernie, RCMP go to court over city log books in fatal ammonia leak probe

Log books center stage in clashing of investigations between the city and RCMP

B.C.’s biggest pot plant planned for Oliver

Co-founder Tony Holler said the 700,000 sq. ft. facility would produce 100,000 kg of pot per year

Search and rescue aircraft trains over Salmon Arm

The plane parachute dropped two search-and-rescue techs as part of a training exercise

BC Liberal leadership hopeful Michael Lee stops in Revelstoke

Lee’s visit comes less than a week before the BC Liberal’s final leadership debate

High-end whisky seized in B.C. bar raids

Raids end in seizures at Victoria, Nanaimo and Vancouver whisky joints

Most Read