Gujarat police received information that seven youth from north Gujarat were caught by the US immigration officers while attempting to enter New York through the Quebec route. Aged between 20 and 25, the youths from Gandhinagar and Mehsana had gone to Canada in the second week of July, hoping to cross over into the US. The youths face charges under the Alien Act and are under detention in Albany said a source.
The state police tried to gather details about the seven men by questioning their families, but to no avail. The family members said that they were not aware about their journey to the US. However, police said the seven youths procured forged IELTS certificates with the help of a local agent from Mehsana and his counterpart in Delhi, and travelled to Canada on student visas. On May 5, six from Gujarat - most of them from Mehsana - were rescued after their boat began sinking in the St Regis River along the Canada- US border. A local court later exempted them from criminal proceedings and asked them to advise their countrymen to not enter the US illegally.
A human smuggling network came to the fore when a family of four from Dingucha was found frozen to death near the Canada-US border on January 16. Jagdish Patel, 39; his wife Vaishali, 37; and their children Vihangi, 11; and Dharmik, 3, lost their lives while embarking on a perilous journey to the US. After the case was reported on January 19, agencies from the US, Canada and India began investigations into the network of human smugglers.