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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

January 8, 2015 at 2:02 PM

2 men charged with smuggling people across Canadian border

 The Associated Press

Two Canadian men have been charged with smuggling people from Pakistan, India and other countries across the northern border into Washington state.

A federal grand jury indicted Mohinder “Paul” Chawla and Terry Franklin Bens on Wednesday on charges of bringing people they charged thousands of dollars into the U.S. over the past five years.

Bens is in custody and a warrant has been issued for Chawla’s arrest.

A customs agent says in court records that Bens was caught leading a group in May near the border town of Lynden, Wash. A Pakistani man in the group told agents he paid $3,500 to be brought to the U.S.

Agents say they caught Bens smuggling another group in November. Officials say Chawla led the smuggling ring and Bens worked as the guide.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Canada, human trafficking, smuggling

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