[Stop-traffic] News/US: Vancouver-area man charged with smuggling Koreans into U.S.

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/US: Vancouver-area man charged with smuggling Koreans into U.S.
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Sat Nov 18 2000 - 11:54:59 EST


Vancouver-area man charged with smuggling Koreans into U.S.
The Associated Press, December 11, 2000

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- A Vancouver-area man has been charged
with being the mastermind of a ring that smuggled hundreds of Koreans, at
least some of them prostitutes, into the United States.

In-Ho Yoon of suburban Coquitlam directed as many as 40 Koreans a month
from British Columbia into Washington state and made about $520 from each,
according to documents filed in U.S. District Court.

Yoon goes on trial Jan. 22 in Seattle on charges of conspiracy to smuggle
aliens into the country.

Unlike the United States, Canada does not require visas for Korean
visitors. U.S. authorities say at least 60 Koreans are caught crossing the
border illegally from the Vancouver area annually.

According to court documents, Koreans who paid about $3,300 each were met
at Vancouver International Airport, kept in safe houses and taken to remote
areas where a guide led them through fields and across the border.

Also linked to the case was Gagopa Travel Service Co. in Seoul. One illegal
immigrant said he paid more than $2,600 to a man who identified himself as
the chairman of the travel agency.

U.S. Border Patrol officials said they allowed the entry of six
"controlled" groups of illegal immigrants from Korea in a sting called
Pacific Breeze in which.

Court documents gave the following account:

On April 28, 1999, Royal Canadian Mounted Police stopped a car driven by
Yoon in an area of the Columbia Valley known to be an entry point for
illegal aliens and drugs.

After a number of illegal Korean immigrants were arrested last March 14 and
linked to Yoon, the U.S. Justice Department approved the sting operation.

On June 4, investigators uysed a third party to introduce Yoon to an
informant identified only as Mr. Kang at a hotel in Bellingham, Wash.

Yoon said he was in the business of smuggling Korean prostitutes from
Vancouver to the United States. The informant agreed to meet them after
they entered the United States and drive them to Seattle-Tacoma
International Airport for $300 a passenger.

Yoon and the informant met 60 times. Each meeting was videotaped by agents.

Yoon was given a telephone number to fax maps showing where nighttime
crossings would be made - the number of the patrol anti-smuggling unit's
fax machine. He was later arrested after being lured into the United States
and was indicted and charged on Nov. 17.
Melanie Orhant
Stop-Traffic Moderator

Please contact me off-list for any questions about Stop-Traffic at
<<morhant@igc.org>>.

Women's Reproductive Health Initiative
Program for Appropriate Technology in Health
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forced prostitution, forced agricultural labor and coercive
mail-order bride arrangements. Trafficking in people for forced
labor is an ever-growing worldwide phenomena that affects the health
and well-being of millions of women, men and children.
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