06 February 2009

One of China's most wanted fugitives gets Canadian work permit

Lai Changxing, one of China's most wanted smugglers who has fled to Canada, has been given a work permit, reports Reuters Canada.

The man in question fled to Canada in 1999 from Chinese police before being arrested for front running a multi-billion dollar goods smuggling operation in China's Fujian province.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says under Canadian law, Lai cannot be extradited to China as Chinese officials will make him face capitol punishment.  His application for political asylum in Canada was denied, but the law also maintains that any person prevented from returning to their homeland must have a Canadian work permit so that they can work if they have no other means of supporting themselves.

There is concern that the decision would cause stress on the relations between Canada and China, although Kenney assures the decision was not politically based but was "an operational decision".

Lai remains under a limited house arrest in Vancouver, and is living off funds supplied by family and friends.

The Canadian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people apply for Canada visa and immigration services.

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