Afghani flees to Canada on fake passport
By Mathieu Turbide, QMI Agency
MONTREAL – Threatened with death by the Taliban for identifying drug dealers, a young Afghan successfully made it into Canada with with the help of an escort and a fake passport, without being questioned by Canadian authorities.
Mohammad (not his real name) found himself with only $50 in his pocket on a Montreal street on Friday after travelling halfway around the world.
Guided by an escort to whom the boy’s father paid several thousand dollars, Mohammad crossed the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan before flying to Dubai and then Toronto. Along the way, two other Afghans joined the group.
Mohammad didn’t know what the plan was upon entering Canada.
“We’re not really sure where we’re going,” he said. “I knew we were going to the West but I didn’t know exactly where.”
He was not asked any questions during his travels, not even when he arrived at Canadian customs in Toronto.
“It was very easy to enter,” he said, explaining that it was his escort who spoke English to the customs agents on behalf of the group and showed their fake passports. “It went well.”
The young man said he never saw the fake passport that was provided for him.
After getting through customs, Mohammad was driven by his escort to Montreal.
“He left me on the side of the street with $50 and told me to go to the police station and that they would take care of me if I asked for refugee status,” he explained.
However, Montreal police could not do much for him because Mohammad is not listed in the judicial system as an illegal immigrant.
“This person has no criminal record in Canada and is of no interest to police at this time,” said Montreal police officer Jean-Pierre LeBlanc in his report.
It took the help of two representatives for local organization Jeunesse au Soleil before Mohammad developed a better understanding of the steps to be followed to obtain refugee status.
Though he didn’t want to leave his home country, Mohammad said he was convinced he would be killed if he were to go back.
Drugs are everywhere in Afghanistan and those that sell the drugs (including opium, hashish and heroin) are either associates of the Taliban or are Taliban themselves.
“Police officers (in Afghanistan) came to ask me who the drug dealers were in my neighbourhood and I told them,” said Mohammad. “Many were arrested and they came to my parents’ looking for me saying that I should pay for this.
They hit my mother, my sister. They took my brothers.”
Mohammad said his father sold his store to pay for his son’s travels to Canada.
“He told me: ‘if you stay here, they will come get you and we will lose you’,” he said. “Human life has no value for those people.”
Though he currently has nothing in Canada, Mohammad said he holds no ill will towards his escort.
“He did his job,” he said. “He got us in here. He promised to bring me to a police station. That’s what he did.”
Since arriving, Mohammad has realized his mission may not be as simple as he thought. He believed that, once here, he would quickly be accepted as a refugee.
“A lot of Afghans dream of coming to Canada,” he said. “We say that if we can make to the West, countries like Canada will help us. All Afghans think that way.”