MONTREAL — The Canada Border Services Agency’s most-wanted list has helped to track down several dozen dangerous criminals since 2011, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney said Monday.
The program led to 59 individuals being located in Canada, with 51 of them being removed from the country.
Another 17 individuals were located abroad.
“In this past year alone, more than 30 dangerous criminals were identified and intercepted by the agency thanks to the support of the Canadian population,” he told a news conference at Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.
The federal minister credited Canadians who called a special border watch phone line — 1-888-502-9060 — with helping the CBSA.
“If we’re here, it’s to thank the Canadian population for its collaboration in supporting the work of the CBSA in putting its hands on 50 dangerous criminals during the last three years,” he said.
“These people represent a threat to society.”
Blaney said their criminal activities have been linked to drugs and organized crime and possibly war crimes.
He also noted that some individuals may have had a terrorist past.
“It could happen that certain of these people are involved in terrorism activities,” Blaney said. “But in these cases, there’s collaboration with national security agencies and the RCMP.”
About 50 individuals are still on the CBSA’s wanted list and are being being sought by authorities.
Blaney also said more than 150 convicted U.S. sex offenders have been denied entry to Canada in the last three years.
“This statistic paints a vivid picture of our efforts to protect Canadians and their families from the threat posed by dangerous criminals,” he added.
In 2014, referrals by US Customs and Border Protection involving travelling sexual offenders to Canada led to 59 instances where entry was refused at the border.