Trinidad stops members of Jewish sect from Canada

AP News
Posted: Mar 05, 2014 9:15 PM

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (AP) — Immigrations officers at Trinidad & Tobago's biggest airport have prevented members of an ultra-orthodox Jewish group from Canada from flying to Guatemala, the Caribbean country said Wednesday.

Members of Quebec's Lev Tahor sect arrived at the international airport in Trinidad's capital of Port-of-Spain aboard a Monday flight from Toronto. They wanted to transit to Guatemala.

In Canada, the sect is fighting a child removal case involving 13 youngsters after a judge ruled last month that the children must be turned over to child protection authorities in Quebec. A court there had ordered that the children be placed in foster care.

It's not clear if the people stopped in Trinidad are directly involved in the custody case or if there are any children among them.

Trinidad's government said only that immigration officers found "inconsistencies" in the travelers' responses and authorities decided the group should be sent back to Toronto due to a Canadian investigation.

The Lev Tahor members in Trinidad have hired a local lawyer to try to overturn the immigration decision.

Trinidad's government said the group refused offers to put them up at a hotel.