Somali refugee with criminal record vanishes

Somali man facing deportation disappears
Mohamed Said Jama is on the lam, officials say
Last Updated: Thursday, March 18, 2010 | 8:27 PM CT Comments 25 Recommend 26

CBC News
Mohamed Said Jama, 40, who has been ordered deported to Somalia, is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, according to the Canada Border Services Agency. (CBSA)

A Somali man, who was ordered deported from Canada because of his criminal past, appears to have gone underground and is currently wanted on a Canada-wide warrant.

Mohamed Said Jama, 40, who arrived in Canada as a refugee in 1991, is being sought by police and agents with the Canada Border Services Agency after he failed to show up for a monthly check-in with a CBSA officer in Winnipeg.

Federal public safety officials have declared Jama a danger based on his violent criminal past.
‘I would say the government blew it.’
—immigration lawyer David Matas

Last fall, Jama lost a long-fought appeal of his deportation order and in October was escorted to Nairobi, Kenya, on a charter flight with a final destination of Bossaso, Somalia.

However, court documents said Jama’s CBSA escorts were unable to arrange a charter flight into Somalia and brought Jama back to Canada.

“The airlines responsible for bringing him to his home country had to turn around because of certain public safety concerns,” Canada’s Public Safety Minister Vic Toews told CBC News on Thursday.

After returning to Canada, Jama was held in custody until Feb. 5, when a member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada agreed to release him with a number of conditions. He had to post a $2,000 bond, agree to check in with CBSA agents once a month and promised to avoid associating with criminals.

Toews said another attempt to deport him will be made when he’s caught.
Involved in violent home invasion

Jama’s original deportation order came after he was convicted in 2005 of aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and robbery for an armed home invasion in Winnipeg where he stabbed a man in the cheek, leaving the victim with a permanent scar.

Prior to that, he served jail time for robbery, public mischief and court-order breaches.

His removal from Canada couldn’t take effect until he had served his full sentence on the home invasion, which was just over 4½ years in prison. In Canada, criminal law trumps matters of immigration.

Jama managed to delay deportation after his sentence expired by appealing his removal order on the grounds he would be killed if he returned to Somalia. He was held in custody as the appeal worked its way through the system.

Court documents said that Jama is the son of a reviled former high-ranking Somalian military official, and feared being killed because of that association.

His immigration lawyer, David Matas, said Jama’s fears are real.

“We should stop deporting people to Somalia because planes aren’t flying into there. It’s a war zone,” Matas said.

He said government officials should have been aware of that when they tried to return Jama to his native land.

“They should have known before they got him there what the situation would be, rather than stumble into the reality of the situation once they got there,” Matas said.

“Clearly a lack of organized advance work and planning when this sort of thing happens. Yeah, I would say the government blew it.”

Matas said another of his clients, Hussein Jilaow, was killed after being deported to Somalia in 2007.

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