VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) – Two convicted drug smugglers claim the Canadian government unconstitutionally denied their request to be transferred from U.S. prisons to Canadian ones by calling them “a threat to the security of Canada.”
In separate applications in Federal Court, Winnie Lam and Steve Czinege claim the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness illegally denied their transfer applications under the International Transfer of Offenders Act.
They claim the act is inconsistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees mobility rights for citizens, subject to “reasonable” limitations.
Lam was sentenced to 7½ years in prison after being caught at Sea-Tac International Airport with 1,000 Ecstasy pills hidden in her underwear, according to press reports in 2004.
Czinege was convicted of smuggling 250 pounds of cocaine into the United States in January 2007, U.S. officials said. Lam and Czinege are represented by John Conroy.