Border agents expand scope of P.E.I. investigation

Published on February 20, 2016

A Canada Border Service Agency vehicle spent much of the day Wednesday outside the Sherwood Inn and Motel in Charlottetown as agents searched for and removed documents from the premises.

©Heather Taweel/The Guardian

Same day Border Services swarm Charlottetown motel, agents also visit employee at Cavendish Farms

Agents of the Canada Border Services Agency were at the Cavendish Farms plant in New Annan Wednesday, the same day they moved in on a Charlottetown motel.

Nobody is saying why or whether the two incidents are connected.

RELATED: Border agents offer lift to P.E.I. school student

Allan Donovan, a communications officer with the agency, confirmed agents were at Cavendish Farms during an interview with The Guardian on Friday.

“I can’t provide any further details because the investigation is ongoing,” he said.

In an email, Mary Keith, a spokeswoman for Cavendish Farms, said the company itself was not part of the agency’s investigation and Cavendish Farms had no information regarding the matter.

A witness at the plant said border agents left with one of the plant’s workers.

On the same day, border agents spent hours at the Sherwood Inn and Motel removing boxes of documents from the main building and two units from the adjacent motel.

The agency would not provide The Guardian with any details about its activities at the motel saying it is part of an ongoing investigation.

The Guardian spoke Thursday to Ping Zhong, owner of the Sherwood Motel. She said she was not at the motel Wednesday, but it was her understanding that the investigation focused on a unit of the building where a woman and her teenage son lived.

On Friday, The Guardian received a call from Tony Liu, 18, who said that was not the case.

Liu said agents came early to their door, asked him for identification documents, then said they wanted to search their rooms.

Liu said he asked why, and the agents showed them a paper. It was then that he noticed the paper named a different room number, not the one he and his mother were living in.

“I don’t know who the raid was for, but it is not me and my mom,” said Liu.

He claims that the agents realized their error and while talking with Liu, asked him about school. He told them he missed his daily bus because of the whole incident.

“They said ‘Ok, if you don’t mind, we can take you to school,’ “ said Liu.

He took them up on the offer.

He said because he went to his high school, he saw nothing else regarding the raid and knows nothing of what the whole thing was about. He read in The Guardian about boxes and boxes of documents being seized.

“How can I have that many documents?” he said. “I’m just a high school student.

“The raid was not focused on me and my mom,” said Liu. “They just asked me a few questions and we are innocent, so they took me to school.”

The day of the raid, The Guardian was told unofficially that an arrest had been made, but the border agency will not confirm or deny that information.