Four Indians, including a teen and an infant, have been found frozen to death about 40 feet from the U.S.-Canada border while being smuggled into North Dakota, according to U.S. and Canadian authorities. The adult male, adult female, teen male and infant were found ‘frozen’, according to Canadian authorities, and are believed to have died due to exposure. The American authorities said that they have arrested a Florida Man for human smuggling, following the incident.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and law enforcement officers with the Department of Homeland Security performed a traffic stop Jan. 19 on a 15-passenger van about 1 mile from the border when they found two undocumented Indian nationals from Canada inside, according to the Manitoba Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Less than a quarter mile away from the border, law enforcement encountered and apprehended five additional undocumented Indian nationals that walked across the U.S. border from Manitoba, Canada, according to the RCMP.
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Inside the vehicle, officers found cases of plastic cups, bottled water, bottled juice and snacks in the van. As they were taking the trio back to the border patrol station in North Dakota, officers came across another group of five Indian nationals walking. They said they had walked across the border and had expected to be picked up by someone. The group said they estimated they had been walking for more than 11 hours, the report added. One person in the group had a backpack he told officials he was carrying for a family of four they had become separated from that contained children’s items such as clothes, a diaper and a toy.
The US attorney’s office in Minnesota said that the officers have arrested Steve Shand after they stopped his white rental van on Wednesday less than one mile south of the border. He was driving with two undocumented Indian nationals. The 47-year-old made a court appearance in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Thursday and was ordered to remain in custody, The Washington Post reported.
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Following the incident, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that he was shocked to hear about the incident. ‘Shocked by the report that 4 Indian nationals, including an infant have lost their lives at the Canada-US border. Have asked our Ambassadors in the US and Canada to urgently respond to the situation’, the minister tweeted.
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