Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has vowed to take action against the human traffickers after four Indians, including an infant; were found to be dead while trying to illegally cross the US-Canada border in a freezing cold temperature.
He said that Canada is working very closely with the United States to stop smuggling and help people “taking unacceptable risks”.
“It was an absolutely mind-blowing story. It’s so tragic to see a family die like that; victims of human traffickers…and of people who took advantage of their desire to build a better life,” Trudeau said.
“This is why we are doing all we can to discourage people from crossing the border in an irregular or illicit manner. We know there are great risks in doing so,” he added.
The bodies of four people — two adults; a teen and an infant — were found on the Canadian side of the US/Canada border near Emerson on Wednesday.
A Florida-based man identified as Steve Shand, 47; was arrested the following day in connection with human smuggling.
“It would almost be like a lunar-type landscape and you can become lost or disoriented very quickly in those kinds of conditions, especially as you’re beginning to freeze and no doubt panic,” Trudeau told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
“There’s no lights up there. You would have probably been in close to zero visibility.”
Reacting to the human tragedy, India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar expressed shock over the incident and asked India’s envoys to the US and Canada to respond to the situation.
“Shocked by the report that 4 Indian nationals, including an infant have lost their lives at the Canada-US border. Have asked our Ambassadors in the US and Canada to urgently respond to the situation,” he said in a tweet.