A warrant has been issued for five men who went missing from a foreign freighter docked in Port Alberni.
The men were reported missing to the RCMP by officials from the Port Alberni Shipping Corporation at approximately 3 a.m. July 27.
The ship they were crewmen aboard was the Pakistani registered Chitral, which arrived in Port Alberni on Tuesday morning at 11:40 a.m.
Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) issued the warrants on Wednesday, RCMP Cpl Dennis Suave said.
The men are of Pakistani descent and are carrying valid passports, but didn’t have permission to leave the ship.
“The warrant is to apprehend and question,” RCMP Cpl. Dennis Suave.”Canada Border Service wants to find out what their intent of entry is.”
Police have since confirmed that the men took a cab from Port Alberni and were driven to Nanaimo at approximately 8 p.m. on the evening of July 26.
Two of the men were dropped of at the Departure Bay Ferry Terminal where they spent the night and caught the early morning ferry to Vancouver.
The other three men were dropped off at the Duke Point Ferry terminal, where they managed to catch a ferry to Vancouver that night.
The investigation has since been turned over to the CBSA.
Upon its arrival the ship was checked by CBSA officials who reported nothing out of the ordinary, Suave said.
The CBSA can’t release any specific details about the incident accept to say that they are aware of the situation.
“The Agency works closely with domestic and international law enforcement partners and other organizations to ensure that inadmissible persons are apprehended and removed as soon as possible,” spokesperson Stefanie Wudel said.
The incident could prove to be costly for the shipping line responsible for the missing seamen.
According to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act the shipping line must pay the CBSA $25,000 for each mariner who deserts their ship in Canadian ports.