Public Safety Canada

Public Safety Canada

March 03, 2009 08:36 ET

Statement: Minister Van Loan Commends Canadian Efforts to Apprehend U.S. Fugitive

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 3, 2009) - The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of Public Safety, made the following statement after law enforcement officials at Toronto's Pearson International Airport detained a U.S. fugitive wanted in connection with a number of major drug trafficking offences.

"The recent arrest and subsequent removal of Steven Atiyeh underscores the importance of Canadian and U.S. cooperation in keeping drugs, and organized crime, off of our streets. I would like to thank those Canada Border Service Agency officials for their vigilance in apprehending a wanted fugitive sought in Florida on charges of intent to distribute 500 kilograms of cocaine. Their efforts are being praised both here and south of the border.

Our message is clear - Canada will not be a safe haven for fugitives of justice fleeing prosecution. We continue to work closely with law enforcement in the U.S. and internationally to reduce the production and distribution of illicit drugs and the threat of organized crime.

This Government continues to take measures that will help disrupt gang activity. We have just introduced legislative reforms to combat the violence associated with gang and illegal drug activity. Through the National Anti-Drug Strategy, we have also made significant investments to target illicit drugs and drug traffickers at our border, whether they come from here or abroad. These measures together with support for law enforcement and crime prevention are making our streets and communities safer."

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