Canadian drug smuggler faces retrial as China

Rhona McIver said she believes her niece arrived in China to learn that the school she'd planned to teach at no longer had a job for her, so officials gave her work at another school.

In one development that could lessen tensions, a Canadian citizen who was detained in China this month had returned home after being released from custody, according to a Canadian Government spokesperson on Friday.

Sarah McIver, an English teacher from Alberta, was arrested by the Chinese authorities over alleged work-permit violations.

Chinese foreign ministry, earlier this month, has said McIver has been undergoing "administrative punishment" for working much illegally.

A Dalian government news portal said last week that Schellenberg had smuggled "an enormous amount of drugs" into China.

Global Affairs Canada Department confirmed that their citizen had been released, but did not name the person.

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Previously, two Canadians - Michael Spavor who is a consultant on North Korea, and former diplomat Michael Kovrig - employed by thinktank International Crisis Group, were detained by China on suspicion of "harm to national security". Their arrests were seen as a tit-for-tat response to Canada's arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, which Chinese authorities have described as a political act.

China severely punishes those caught smuggling or trafficking drugs, including foreigners.

According to friends of Ms. McIver, who spoke with The Globe before the woman's release was announced, she had assured her family in mid-December that she was fine and would be deported from China within days.

USA authorities claim Meng Wanzhou lied to US banks to get around sanctions against Iran asked to extradite the executive.

The sentencing of foreign drug dealers in China has drawn a lot of attention overseas and some foreign governments strongly oppose the results, but Chinese judicial principle is never affected, which rules that "anyone who commits crimes in the territory of China would be judged equally as said by China's Criminal Law", Ruan Qilin, a professor at the China University of Political Science and Law, told the Global Times on Thursday.

  • Sonia Alvarado