Tamil migrants arrived in B.C. aboard the MV Sun Sea in August 2010. Image credit: Handout file photo.

Four-year sentence for man who smuggled Tamil migrants to Canada aboard MV Sun Sea

Christhurajah will walk free after spending seven years behind bars awaiting trial

A Sri Lankan man found guilty of smuggling Tamil migrants to Canada has walked free after receiving a four-year prison sentence.

Kunarobinson Christhurajah smiled as a British Columbia Supreme Court judge asked him to stand after announcing his sentence, saying the man won’t be serving any more time beyond the seven years he has spent behind bars awaiting trial.

Justice Catherine Wedge says Christhurajah was himself an asylum seeker aboard the MV Sun Sea, which was intercepted on B.C.’s coast in August 2010 with 492 passengers aboard after they’d left Thailand six weeks earlier.

Wedge cited a previous case in which three Chinese men were sentenced to four years in prison as part of an organized-crime-group that brought 190 illegal migrants to the West Coast in 1999.

Unlike in that case, Wedge says Christhurajah was not a mastermind or a leader and that he and his family experienced the same conditions as the other passengers.

A mistrial was declared in Christhurajah’s first trial in January when a jury failed to reach a verdict, but he was found guilty by another jury in May.

The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

One man in hospital with severe injures after small fire in Victoria apartment building

Man was found by firefighters responding to multiple 911 calls about smoke on third floor

Area residents concerned about aftermath of McKenzie interchange construction

Ministry says neighbours’ concerns being heard, will be addressed

West Shore’s 10 worst intersections for crashes in 2019

Millstream Road, Veterans Memorial Parkway area continues to be a hotspot

UPDATE: Two dead after fishing boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Teen killer Kelly Ellard gets day parole extension allowing up to five days at home

Ellard is serving a life sentence for the 1997 murder of 14-year-old Reena Virk

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

Andrew Scheer likely marking last day in House of Commons as Opposition leader

Today’s Commons sitting is one of two scheduled for August

Deaths feared after train derails amid storms in Scotland

Stonehaven is on the line for passenger trains linking Aberdeen with the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow

DFO says 5 aggrieved B.C First Nations were consulted on fisheries plan

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations calls response ‘a sham,’ adding DFO never incorporates their views

Man arrested after stabbing incident at makeshift camp near Vancouver Island mall

RCMP in Parksville report 28-year-old man taken into custody without incident

Lower Mainland woman gives birth on in-laws’ driveway

Frédérique Gagnon new son is appropriately named after Norse trickster god

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

Landlord takes front door, windows after single B.C. mom late with rent

Maple Ridge mom gets help from community generosity and government

Most Read