An Indian-origin couple in Surrey near Vancouver was jailed in Seattle at the weekend for trying to smuggle people from Canada into the US.
Forty-eight-year-old Jas Binning and 32-year-old Jagdeep Binning, who live near Peace Arch Park on the US-Canadian border, were arrested in December for trying to smuggle two undercover police officers into the US over a period of four months.
The Binnings charged $4,500 from the first undercover officer in August 2008 to be smuggled into the US.
The couple reportedly took the undercover cop to their home on the US-Canada border and then guided him across the park to meet their contact across the border, the US District Court said while sentencing the couple.
In the second instance in December 2008, they charged $5,000 from another second undercover officer with the promise of sending him into the US through their home near Peace Arch Park on the border.
In sentencing the couple, the judge said their human trafficking activities are "disrespectful to your country and to mine. . . and to all those people who come in and legitimately make their way as immigrants."
The couple pleaded guilty to their crime in February.
While Jas Binning will spend six months in jail, and then two years under supervision, his wife Jagdeep Binning will spend 50 days in jail and later two years under supervision. The Binnings will also have to pay a fine of $5,000.
Surrey is home to the largest concentration of the Punjabi community anywhere in the world outside India.