This case involves an attempt to bring a Congolese national into Canada. She was met by the two accused, who were Canadian citizens of Congolese background, in the United States and sat in the rear of their car when they sought to cross into Canada at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario on 23 July 2010. She then presented a Canadian passport that had been issued in the name of one of the accused's daughter. The two accused were later charged and convicted for offences relating to migrant smuggling.
The smuggled migrant travelled as a passenger in the rear of the car driven by the two accused. When the vehicle approached the Canadian border inspection, the smuggled migrant pretended to be sleeping, but when awoken presented a Canadian passport. That passport was issued to another person, the daughter of one of the two accused.
Ontario Court of Justice
The two accused were pleaded guilty and were convicted in this trial. They were sentenced on 2 May 2012.
In determining the sentence, Nadel J took into account the early guilty plea of the defendants, their cooperation with the authorities, and the fact that they had no prior criminal record. He considered this instance of migrant smuggling to 'fall into the less serious category of this crime' and noted that the defendants were not motivated by financial gain.
The smuggled migrant received a 90 day jail sentence for her part in attempting to enter Canada illegally. Further details about the criminal proceedings against her were not available at the time of writing.
Mr George Lwamba was one of the two drivers of the car used in this venture. He was also the father of the person whose passport was used to attempt to smuggle the migrant into Canada.
Mr Lwamba had no prior convictions, was gainfully employed, and otherwise law-abiding prior to his involvement in this venture. He is of Congolese background and came to Canada in 1999 from a refugee camp in Kenya as a refugee. He is married and has four children and worked as Baptist pastor at the time he became involved in this venture.
Mr Mbundanini was one of the two drivers of the car used in this venture.
Mr Mbundanini had no prior convictions, was gainfully employed, and otherwise law-abiding prior to his involvement in this venture. Like Mr Lwamba, he is of Congolese background and came to Canada in 1997 as a refugee, after fleeing from Congo to Kenya. His family joined him Canada in 2004 and worked as the music director of a religious congregation in Ontario at the time he became involved in this venture.
R v Lwamba  ONCJ 263 (2 May 2012)