Ex-KGB agent leaves Canada after hiding in Vancouver church for six years to avoid deportation

Ex-KGB agent leaves Canada after hiding in Vancouver church for six years to avoid deportation

 | August 16, 2015 | Last Updated: Aug 17 8:42 AM ET
More from Stewart Bell | @StewartBellNP

Mikhail Lennikov at the First Lutheran Church in Vancouver in 2009.

Wayne Leidenfrost / Postmedia News file Mikhail Lennikov at the First Lutheran Church in Vancouver in 2009.

A former KGB agent who spent six years hiding in a Vancouver church to avoid deportation to Russia has left Canada after surrendering to immigration enforcement authorities, his lawyer said Sunday.

Mikhail Lennikov, 55, voluntarily left the church in which he had sought sanctuary in 2009. He was escorted by Canada Border Services Agency officers to Toronto, where he boarded a flight to Moscow.

“I can confirm he left, he’s no longer in the country,” said Hadayt Nazami, his Toronto immigration lawyer. “It was a voluntary departure through negotiations. He wasn’t deported.”

He declined to explain why Lennikov had decided to give up his fight. He said the Russian had been negotiating an agreement with the CBSA for some time. The deal did not involve Lennikov going to any country other than Russia, he said.

NIck Procaylo / Postmedia News file

NIck Procaylo / Postmedia News fileFormer KGB agent Mikhail Lennikov and his wife Irina and son Dmitri at home in Burnaby, B.C. Feb. 28, 2009.

He confirmed CBSA officers had not entered the church. Lennikov still has several cases outstanding in the Canadian courts, Nazami added. “I’ll be continuing to represent him with those applications.”

Lennikov was one of a handful of asylum seekers holed up inside Canadian churches to avoid deportation. The CBSA has refrained from entering places of worship to make arrests.

His high-profile case became politicized, with the NDP calling Lennikov an example of “a really wrong-headed immigration policy by this government” and arguing the Russian was not a threat to Canada.

The Conservatives, meanwhile, supported his deportation, saying that as a former member of the notorious Soviet state security apparatus he was unwelcome in Canada.

Lennikov began cooperating with the KGB while he was at Far Eastern State University, where he was active in the communist youth league. Hired in 1982, he was assigned to the Japanese section of the Vladivostok office.

“His work included translating documents, assessing prospective Japanese informants’ credibility and continuing contact with some student informants from Far Eastern State University,” the Federal Court wrote in a ruling.


The lawyer said he had not heard whether Lennikov had arrived in Russia. Lennikov had earlier said he feared being charged with treason by Russian authorities because he had revealed the names of KGB agents.

National Post

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TORONTO: Chinese waiter posted $40,000 bond to secure the release of Wa Cheng who was later deported

Toronto couple loses $40K to Ottawa after bailing out deportee they barely knew

Putting up bond for a stranger proves disastrous after CBSA rules he violated his conditions

Jian Feng Yang and Yue Yun Gao

Jian Feng Yang and Yue Yun Gao

Rick Madonik,Toronto Star

A Toronto couple has lost $40,000 savings after border officials forfeited the bond they put up for the bail of an acquaintance facing deportation. The couple, Yue Yun GAO and husband Jian Feng YANG, seen in lawyer Matthew Jeffery’s office on April 30, 2015
Hamilton Spectator

When a friend in the U.S. called him one day four years ago to ask for his help in getting a man he barely knew out of immigration detention in Toronto, Jian Feng Yang didn’t hesitate, because they came from the same hometown in China.

On July 22, 2011, Yang, 40, and his wife, Yue Yun Gao, 39, went to the immigration holding centre on Airport Rd. and posted a $40,000 bond to secure the release of Wa Cheng, a man from Changle in Fujian Province. Cheng was later deported from Canada, ruled inadmissible because of his criminal past abroad.

Two years later, the Toronto couple have found themselves owing $40,000 to Ottawa — the result of what their lawyer describes as “a lack of procedural fairness in forfeiture” by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

Yang and Gao’s dilemma offers a cautionary tale to others asked to bail out someone being held on immigration law violations.

“We took this person in and made sure he would not run away, and he never did,” said Yang, who works as a waiter to support his wife and their two boys, 10 and 8. “We do not regret helping him out of jail, but we have lost our faith in the system.”

Muhammad Aqeeq Ansari to be deported to native Pakistan

Pakistani man caught with $20K weapons cache in Peterborough, Ont., will be deported within the month: CBSA

  | June 1, 2015 11:26 AM ETMore from Stewart Bell | @StewartBell NP

TORONTO — A member of a Pakistani terrorist organization who was caught in Ontario with a cache of firearms will be deported within the next month, a Canada Border Services Agency officer said at a hearing Monday.

Muhammad Aqeeq Ansari, who has lived in Canada since 2007, will be deported as soon as travel arrangements have been finalized for himself and the CBSA officers who will escort him to Pakistan, Naureen Ismail said.

Ansari has a valid passport and has waived his right to an assessment of the risks he might face upon his return to his native country, Ismail told the Immigration and Refugee Board at a hearing to decide whether to keep him in custody.

“We anticipate Mr. Ansari’s removal will be effected in the hear future,” Ismail said, arguing he was a flight risk and danger to the public. “We do expect that it will be within the next month but I can’t get any more specific than that right now.”

Ansari refused to participate in the hearing. His lawyer, Derek Lee, a former Liberal MP, did not attend the session. IRB Member Karina Henrique ordered Ansari to remain in detention in Lindsay, Ont., saying his release was “out of the question.”

The fact, however that he amassed $20,000 in guns and ammunition over such a short period raises questions and concerns, that remain plausibly unanswered, regarding his motives and whether there was an underlying plan given that he also spent a fair amount of time at the gun range practicing his shot

The IRB stripped Ansari of his permanent resident status and ordered deported last month, ruling he was a member of the terror group Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), also known as the Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaal (ASWJ).

In its decision, the IRB said Ansari’s refusal to acknowledge that the SSP had “murdered thousands of people in Pakistan for not sharing their religious views” was “a reflection of either willful blindness or a shared mentality that it is permissible to eliminate anyone who does not share your faith perspective.”

In a basement in Peterborough, Ont., Ansari had stockpiled $20,000 worth of firearms. He made trips to Pakistan to visit a cleric who fought “jihad” in Afghanistan and wrote provocatively about his beliefs on the Internet, once commenting beside a photos of the Toronto Scotiabank Tower, “If I only had a plane.”

The CBSA had linked him to the SSP through his association with Pakistani Deobandi cleric and former jihadist fighter Ilyas Ghuman. Canadian officials said Ansari had been involved with the terror group since before coming to Canada and had been soliciting funds and promoting its goals online.


TORONTO: Pakistani Mohammed Aqeeq Ansari to be deported, Jahanzeb Malik in custody

Pakistani immigrant declared security threat, to be deported, while another ordered back into custody

 | May 11, 2015 10:09 PM ET More from Stewart Bell | @StewartBellNP
Jahanzeb Malik, 33, making an appearance at the Immigration Refugee Board hearing in Toronto on Monday.

Stewart Bell/National Post
Jahanzeb Malik, 33, making an appearance at the Immigration Refugee Board hearing in Toronto on Monday.

TORONTO — Mohammed Aqeeq Ansari stockpiled firearms, made trips to Pakistan to visit a cleric who fought “jihad” in Afghanistan and wrote provocatively about his beliefs on the Internet. His Facebook page showed a Toronto bank tower and the caption: “If I only had a plane.”

In a decision announced Monday, the Immigration & Refugee Board found that Ansari was a member of a terrorist organization and a danger to Canada’s security. It ordered him deported to Pakistan, the country he left when he came to Toronto as an immigrant eight years ago.

Anna Pape, the IRB spokeswoman, confirmed the decision but said a written ruling explaining the reasons was not yet available, although it was expected any day. “This is all the information available at the moment,” she said.

Ansari’s lawyer, Derek Lee, could not be reached for comment.

Stewart Bell/National PostMalik is being held in custody in Lindsay, Ontario

Meanwhile, another Pakistani citizen arrested in Toronto, Jahanzeb Malik, was ordered to remain in custody because of the threat he posed to Canadians. A hearing on whether to deport him for allegedly plotting to bomb the United States consulate in Toronto was to begin Tuesday.

Ottawa police say 11 women will be deported after human trafficking investigation into commercial massage parlours and body rub facilities

Canada Border Services Agency to deport women working in Canada without a valid permit

CBC News Posted: May 08, 2015 3:23 PM ET Last Updated: May 08, 2015 3:26 PM ET

Ottawa police say 11 women will be deported after a human trafficking investigation into commercial massage parlours and body rub facilities.

Police say they investigated 20 locations from April 27 to 29 resulting in 11 bylaw charges for improper licensing.

Canada Border Services Agency also detained 11 women for immigration-related matters who appeared for admissibility and detention hearings last week.

Removal orders were then issued for each woman.

All 11 were found to be working without a valid work permit, police said.

No criminal charges were laid but police said the border services investigation continues, which could spark more charges.

Ottawa police also said additional investigations were launched after the three-day bust.

Pakistani Jahanzeb Malik accused of planning to bomb U.S. Consulate and other buildings in downtown Toronto

Showed ISIS beheading videos to undercover RCMP officer, CBSA alleges

CBC News Posted: Mar 11, 2015 1:53 PM ET Last Updated: Mar 11, 2015 9:40 PM ET

Canadian security officials are moving to deport to Pakistan Jahanzeb Malik, who they allege was planning to bomb the U.S. Consulate and other buildings in downtown Toronto. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

A Pakistani man planned to use remote-controlled bombs to blow up the U.S. Consulate and other buildings in Toronto’s financial district, authorities said on Wednesday.

Jahanzeb Malik, 33, was arrested on Monday following a lengthy investigation by security and anti-terrorism personnel, said the Canada Border Services Agency. He has not been charged and the allegations have not been proven.

Malik was ordered held in custody on “security grounds” pending deportation following an Immigration and Refugee Board hearing on Wednesday. He appeared via video link from Lindsay, Ont.