2 Men Arrested in Deaths of Family From India Found Frozen in Canada Near US Border in 2021
"They were told it was their best opportunity and last chance to cross into the U.S. or else return to India or stay back in Canada," Chaitanya Mandlik, a senior police official in Gujarat's Ahmedabad, told reporters of the family who perished.
Two men in India have been arrested in the deaths of a family from the country who were found frozen in Manitoba, Canada, near the U.S. boarder a year ago, according to reports.
Police in India say the two men are facing charges in the deaths of a family who froze a year ago while trying to cross from Canada into the United States, according to CBC.
Jagdish Patel, 39; his wife, Vaishali Patel, 37; and their children — Dharmik, 3, and Vihangi, 11 — were found frozen to death near southern Manitoba on Jan. 19, 2022, according to CBC.
The Patels were among a group of 11 people from the Gujarat state who were trying to enter America through Canada, according to reports. Their deaths made international headlines in 2022.
The other seven people in the group were detained by U.S. authorities after they crossed the border, according to CTV News.
"The city crime branch has registered an offense in a case wherein the accused (agents) had forced 11 people to walk in the snow in a bid to get them illegally cross the US-Canada border, causing the death of four members of a family," Chaitanya Mandlik, a senior police official in Gujarat's Ahmedabad, told reporters Monday.
Authorities in Gujarat state, where the family was from, said the men who they arrested were "illegal immigration" agents, according to BBC.
Mandlik added that the two men are accused of acting as immigration agents, supplying the family with paperwork and assisting them in getting to the U.S. They have been charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder, attempting culpable homicide, human trafficking and criminal conspiracy, according to CBC.
"The agent arranges for tickets, visa stay and transport in Canada, and (people who help them cross)," Mandlik added in his press conference. "Sometimes documents are faked. Case to case is different."
Mandlik said it cost the Patel family about $75,000 per person for the entire process, according to CTV News.
A person wanting to go to America contacts one of the agents that the accused worked for and they begin the paperwork, according to Mandlik. The potential immigrant is told to be ready with their belongings on a certain date, and would be given a travel route, authorities in India said, according to CTV News.
Mandlik said that the Patel family traveled from their home in India to Dubai and then to Toronto, Vancouver, before going to Manitoba, where they would cross the boarder, according to CTV News.
"They were told it was their best opportunity and last chance to cross into the U.S. or else return to India or stay back in Canada," Mandlik said of the Patels. "You have to walk in - 35 C to evade arrest by Canadian or U.S. security agencies. Follow the lights of an American gas station because you will find no navigation available in the dark and extreme weather."
Police in Gujarat state are also trying to arrest two agents based in the U.S. and Canada, according to BBC.
Trending on Inside Edition
New DNA Evidence Could Crack Brutal Cold Case Murders of Elderly Georgia Couple Russell and Shirley DermondCrime
Family of Christian Glass Reaches $19 Million Settlement in Fatal Police Shooting of Colorado ManCrime
LAPD Volunteer Officer Who Survived Near-Fatal Bee Attack on Live TV Speaks OutHeroes