The Canada Border Services Agency will not say if Lai Tong Sang, the alleged leader of a Macau criminal organization linked to assaults and killings during a 1990s turf war, is still in this country.
Mr. Lai, who first arrived in Canada in 1996, was deemed inadmissible by the Immigration and Refugee Board last week. The ruling and deportation order were not publicly revealed until Tuesday.
Mr. Lai's lawyer has declined to answer questions on his client's whereabouts and has hinted at a Federal Court appeal.
On Wednesday, the CBSA also remained tight-lipped. Faith St. John, an agency spokeswoman, confirmed in an e-mail that a deportation order has been issued and that individuals removed under such orders are permanently barred from returning to Canada.
However, she would not disclose whether Mr. Lai is still in the country, or if the CBSA has even had an opportunity to deport him. Mr. Lai participated in his February admissibility hearing by telephone from Macau and it's unclear whether he ever returned to Canada.
"The Privacy Act provides very strict parameters concerning what the CBSA may and may not say about a particular case and/or person. While each case is assessed on its unique merits, we are bound by this legislation and it is not the practice of the CBSA to confirm or deny the removal of any individual," Ms. St. John said in her e-mail.
In its ruling, the IRB said there were reasonable grounds to believe that Mr. Lai is a member of the Shui Fong triad in Macau. It ruled that the rest of his family is permitted to stay in Canada.
The admissibility hearing was told that Mr. Lai arrived in Canada when an immigration officer failed to look into his background.
In 1997, his home was hit by a drive-by shooting. Evidence presented at the hearing said the contract to kill him was worth $1-million Hong Kong ($132,000).
The IRB heard from several witnesses who said the triad took part in killings, as well as loan sharking, extortion and prostitution.