Child services search for two Lev Tahor children; 12 have left the country
Published Thursday, March 6, 2014 10:20AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, March 6, 2014 2:32PM EST
Both domestic and international authorities are now assisting Chatham-Kent Children’s Services with the apprehension of 14 children from within the ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect, Lev Tahor.
According to Chatham-Kent police, 12 children named in an apprehension order have left the country. Child services are now attempting to locate the remaining two children, but no one has been apprehended to date.
Members of children services, along with police, visited a number of homes in town Wednesday night as well as more than a dozen homes in a complex belonging to t Lev Tahor.
They were there executing a court order to apprehend 14 youth who were the subjects of a court hearing Wednesday.
A number of Lev Tahor community members were at the complex, but none of the children officials were specifically looking for were found at the complex.
In court Wednesday afternoon, an emergency motion was filed by children services, but the context of that motion is unknown as the media was excluded from court proceedings.
The search of the complex comes as members of the sect were denied transit to Guatemala through Trinidad and Tobago.
According to immigration officials, members of Lev Tahor boarded a plane in Toronto destined for Piarco International Airport Monday. An interview with immigration authorities discovered “inconsistencies”.
“As a consequence, and in adherence to international immigration protocols, the group was rejected and advised of their inability to travel on to Guatemala,” said Marcia Hope, a spokesperson for the Ministry of National Security in Trinidad and Tobago.
The sect has since been ordered to return to Canada, but the group has hired a lawyer to advocate their concerns with local authorities.
“Their spokesman Mr. Avraham Dinkel has continued to negotiate with local authorities to travel on to Guatemala and not return to Canada.”
A decision from Justice Stephen Fuerth on Feb. 3, ordered 14 children from the sect back to Quebec child services. As part of the decision, the children were ordered to remain with their families and couldn’t leave Chatham-Kent until an appeal was made.
Approximately 40 families with the Jewish group left Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, Que., and relocated to Chatham in November.
On Nov. 27, a Quebec court ordered the children into foster care, amid an investigation into alleged child neglect.