CALGARY — A federal immigration official has ordered a pregnant woman arrested in a human trafficking sting be detained over Christmas.
Siu Ling Wong, 36, will be likely be deported to Hong Kong in early January.
Her lawyer, Gavin Grant, argued against keeping her in custody, saying she wasn’t a flight risk due to her pregnancy and lack of money.
But Immigration and Refugee Board member Otto Nupponen concluded Wong had been dishonest in her dealings with federal officials.
Wong was picked up last week during a raid on a downtown suite Calgary police say was used to co-ordinate a prostitution ring involving human trafficking.
She hasn’t been charged with any offences.
They also say she left three children in Hong Kong to come to Canada last February, with an application to extend her stay being rejected in November.
Wong, dressed in purple jail sweats and frequently crying, said through a Mandarin interpreter that she’s “uncomfortable staying” in remand.
Grant said she’s particularly isolated there because nobody speaks Chinese.
An offer by her new Canadian husband to put up a bond of $5,000 and his 2009 Honda as a surety was rejected by Nupponen.
“I see the case with a fair amount of uncertainty in the background,” he said.
“It’s clear you’ve not been entirely open with immigration officials.”
Grant argued her limited education and poor grasp of English meant she was unable to understand immigration procedures during 2009.