9 members of Jewish sect that left Canada are now back

Police say nine members of a fringe Jewish sect who left the country amid child custody proceedings only to be stopped in Trinidad and Tobago have now been returned to Canada.

Peel Police Sgt. Dave Housdon says the Lev Tahor members landed at Toronto's Pearson International Airport Saturday at 10:30 p.m. and the six children were placed in the care of the Children's Aid Society.

Housdon said the three adults were being processed by the Canada Border Services Agency.

A spokeswoman for the agency said CBSA ``continues to work closely with local law enforcement agencies on this case,'' but wouldn't say whether the three had been released.

At least two Lev Tahor families left Canada for Guatemala last week, but some of them were stopped in Trinidad.

They filed an appeal against the decision denying them entry but it was rejected because it was made outside the allowable time frame, Trinidad and Tobago Attorney General Anand Ramlogan said Sunday.

He said that decision came after he advised immigration officials on the statutory time limits for appeals.

Early last week, an Ontario judge issued an emergency order that 14 Lev Tahor children be placed in the care of children's aid but police said Thursday that most of the children had left the country.

About 200 members of the sect, 114 of them children, settled in Chatham, Ont., last year after suddenly uprooting from Ste-Agathe-des-Monts.

Child-welfare authorities in Quebec spent a year investigating issues related to hygiene, health, and allegations that the children weren't learning according to the provincial curriculum.

Late last year, a Quebec court ordered that 14 Lev Tahor children be placed in foster care.

The group has denied all allegations of mistreatment.

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