William Edosomwan, 52, is a former 20-year prison guard in Nigeria who worked for an agency known for “extrajudicial killings, torture and unlawful detention.”
TORONTO - Canadian police and border agents have stepped up their search for a Top 10 of the country's "Most Wanted" war criminals and street thugs who they claim have fled deeper underground to avoid arrest and deportation.
Officers of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) are working long hours to locate and arrest the most notorious of 60 fugitives, whose mugshots and biographies were released on an agency website last July.
Police are concerned the fugitives, many who are violent and all desperate, are committing serious crimes on the lam and will do anything to evade authorities and being deported home.
Hundreds of tips from the public have led to the arrests of 14 of the Most Wanted, with seven of them being deported so far. Additional fugitives are being added to the lineup next month, officials said.
Some 1,400 hardened criminals and 20,000 others sought on immigration warrants in the GTA are already being hunted for removal by the CBSA, RCMP and other agencies.
A Conservative MP who spearheaded a drive to take the manhunt online said he's thrilled by the success of the "Most Wanted" program.
"It has greatly exceeded everyone's expectations," Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said. "All the individuals who have been apprehended were individuals who had been at large for some time, and all leads to their whereabouts had been exhausted."
He credits tips from the public and law enforcement partners in helping to apprehend the fugitives.
"We have learned most Canadians are committed to ensuring that Canada remains a welcoming place for those who play by the rules," Toews said. "We continue to be prepared to send foreign criminals of all sorts back to their countries of origin."
The CBSA have teams of escort officers to ensure the dangerous fugitives are returned to their homelands.
Escorts are on standby to return members of the Top 10 who include an accused kidnapper from China; a rapist from Jamaica, helicopter gunship shooter from Peru and suspects accused of atrocities in Afghanistan, Nigeria, Yugoslavia and Somalia.
Officers said the fugitives have dug in deeper due to intense pressure from the police, public and media.
"They can run but they can't hide forever," said one front-line officer who is tracking a suspect. "At some point they will make a mistake and we will be there."
CBSA officers execute 3,000 warrants a year for those who have violated immigration laws or refused to leave the country. Of the 15,000 people deported last year from Canada, about 2,000 were kicked out for criminality.
Anyone seeking information on the fugitives are asked to visit the CBSA website or call a Border Watch Line at 1-888-502-9060.
A Top 10 of the Most Wanted includes:
- 1 - Guo Wei Wu, 44, of China, is sought for the kidnapping of real-estate agent Jianguo (Tony) Han and his client, Xiu Jun (Johnny) Fei from Fei's multimillion-dollar home on Featherstone Dr. in Mississauga. Fei was discovered alive but Han was found dead. Police suspect Wu may have fled to China to avoid arrest.
- 2 - Kiemtor Alidu, 57, of Scarborough, was a supporter of Ghana's military dictatorship from 1982 and 1985 and vice-chairman of a "People's Defence Committee," a quasi-police force that kept an eye on political dissidents. More than 100 people were murdered because he and colleagues fingered them as threats to the regime.
- 3 - Jose Domingo Malaga Arica, 57, of Mississauga, is originally from Peru and on the run for allegedly participating in helicopter gunship raids on villages in which women and children were machine-gunned indiscriminately and to transporting accused criminals to be tortured.
- 4 - Mohammed Hassan Farah, 56, is hiding in the Toronto area after being accused of taking part in atrocities in Somalia that violated Crimes Against Humanity. Farah is inadmissible to Canada due to war crimes and is sought for deportation.
- 5 - Atean Al Meliky Kesir Firs, 37, went underground for allegedly taking part in war crimes in his native Iraq. His aliases include Bashir Haider, Haider Bashir, Kesir Al Meliky and H. Abed Rashid Bashir. He has been on the run for some time and doesn't plan on returning home, police said.
- 6 and 7 - Suspected war criminals Dragan Djuric, 42, of Kitchener, and Dimitrije Karic, 52, formerly of Medicine Hat., Alt., are the only Serbs on the list. They are sought for alleged crimes and atrocities in the former Yugoslavia. Karic is believed to be outside Canada.
- 8 - Khalil Abdul Khalil, 76, of Afghanistan, was allegedly a senior colonel in KHAD, the notorious secret police service that operated in Afghanistan during the Marxist era. His family and lawyer dismiss allegations that Kilal violated Crimes Against Humanity laws.
- 9 - Vibert "Tiger" Henry, 45, of Guyana, has been on the lam for five years to avoid facing sex charges. He was convicted in 2006 of two counts of assault, sexual assault and uttering death threats in a vicious attack and was to appear for sentencing when he bolted. He is described as having scars on his left arm, left cheek, left eyebrow and has tattoos on his arms.
- 10 - William Edosomwan, 52, is a former 20-year prison guard in Nigeria who worked for an agency known for "extrajudicial killings, torture and unlawful detention." An Immigration and Refugee Board suspected he knew of the conditions and didn't do anything and that linked him to crimes against humanity.
Arrested since the "Most Wanted" lists were compiled:
-Satpal Singh Jhatu, 44, of India, is back behind bars pleading guilty to a 1987 murder of Abbotsford mom, Ranjit Toore, who he beat to death with a baseball bat before dousing her body with gasoline and setting her ablaze.
He was sentenced to life in 1989, released on parole in 2004 and failed to show up for deportation.
-Cristobal Gonzalez-Ramirez, of Honduras, who allegedly created an army battalion responsible for the execution of more than 100 civilians in the early 1980s, was arrested in Medicine Hat, Alta., following tips from the public.
-Deportation proceedings resume Jan. 13 for suspected war criminal Arshad Muhammad, 42, aka Certosa Aranci, whom Canadian officials allege is linked to an Islamist organization in Pakistan that was involved in terrorist attacks.
-Abraham Bahaty Bayavuge, 52, of Democratic Republic of Congo, was picked up while hiding in Montreal. He is inadmissible for allegedly working for the immigration department of the DRC for about a decade, during the brutal dictatorships of Mobutu Sese Seko then Laurent-Désiré Kabila.
-Walter Ernesto Guzman, aka Wally Guzman Sanchez, Walter Sanchez, 45, of El Salvador, was arrested for crimes committed in Canada including drug trafficking. He failed to leave and a warrant was issued.
-Jameson Seide, aka Jameson Seide, 28, of Haiti, was nabbed in Montreal for a slew of drugs and weapons offences. He is awaiting deportation.
-Xun Zhang, 22, of China, was arrested in B.C. after being convicted of robbery, theft and being part of an Ontario Ecstasy ring.
Those who have been deported since their arrest:
-Orett O'Neil Brock, 31, to Jamaica for stubbing out a cigarette on the cheek of a 14-month-old girl. He was deported under the escort of Canadian officers. The convicted wife-beater was one of the country's most sought after criminals until his arrest last year.
-Manuel De La Torre Herrera, 57, was sent back to Peru for being a member of that country's security forces. He arrived here and filed a failed refugee claim and was deemed inadmissible for war crimes.
-Christobal Gonzalez-Ramirez, aka Christobal Ramirez, 44, was turfed to Honduras last August for taking part in death squads in his native land.
-Henry Pantoja Carbonel, 54, was booted to Peru after being arrested in Toronto last year. He was a member of the National Intelligence Service in Peru and complicit in crimes against humanity.
-Cesar Amilcar Chavarria Padilla, 59, of Guatemala, surrendered to border officials last August and was sent back to face charges of crimes against humanity in his homeland.
-Shameer Allie, 37, of Guyana, was nabbed in Etobicoke, for not leaving Canada after being convicted of violence against women and weapons related crimes here and in Guyana.
-Reginald George King, aka "Dee Dee", 42, was removed to Jamaica for crimes in Canada. He was arrested by the OPP in Walford, Ont., near Sudbury, last August for failing to leave due to a lengthy criminal record.