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Indo-Canadian accuses US of 'stealing' his vacation

RM Singh, 45, has accused the US authorities of spoiling his vacation by detaining him at LA airport and treating him like a suspected terrorist.

india Updated: Dec 08, 2005 16:35 IST

An Indo-Canadian accountant has accused the US authorities of spoiling his vacation by detaining him at Los Angeles airport and treating him like a suspected terrorist.

RM Singh, 45, has accused the authorities of 'stealing' his vacation. He said his holiday with his companion was ruined after he was detained at the airport because of a 25-year-old drug charge, reported the South Asian Observer.

Singh said, "Nobody should be treated like that. Even if they have the worst record, they should not be treated like scum. They should be treated with dignity and respect".

Singh and his common-law wife Darlene Loupret were transferring planes at Los Angeles International Airport when he was hauled out of the United States customs line into a detention area.

The couple was on vacation in Australia for four weeks visiting Loupret's daughter and then in Singapore for one week before heading home.

And though she can't prove it, she suspects her husband's last name and his Indian heritage figured in how he was treated. "They were basically treating him like he was a terrorist," she said.

Singh said he doesn't blame the customs officials for pulling him over to ask questions about the 25-year-old conviction for possession of a quarter-gram of hashish. He pleaded guilty and was fined $100. But he said there was no need to treat him like dirt.

He immigrated to Canada from Trinidad and Tobago in 1970 and has been a Canadian citizen since 1979. He said the officers repeatedly asked him questions about where he was born, his purpose for visiting the US and whether he'd be making a claim to stay in the country.

First Published: Dec 08, 2005 16:35 IST