Lev Tahor members on flight back to Canada
Members of the Lev Tahor ultra-orthodox Jewish sect walk down a street while an emergency motion in the child custody case is held at the courthouse in Chatham, Ont., Wednesday, March 5, 2014. (Dave Chidley / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Saturday, March 8, 2014 7:59PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, March 8, 2014 10:08PM EST
Members of an ultra-orthodox Jewish sect who left Canada after an Ontario court ordered the removal of 14 children have been placed on a flight bound for Toronto, CTV News has confirmed.
Fourteen children from the sect were expected to be seized last week after an Ontario court ordered that they be placed in the care of Chatham-Kent Children’s Services.
Police said Thursday that 12 of the children named in the emergency order were removed from Canada by their parents.
Two families whose children were ordered to be removed from their custody left for Guatemala, but nine members of the sect had their passports seized in Trinidad and Tobago during a stopover.
A spokesperson for Trinidad and Tobago’s Ministry of National Security said the members were stopped after officials found “inconsistencies” in their statements.
A Quebec court had originally ordered that 14 children from the Jewish sect be placed in foster care last year after finding that children in the community were being mistreated, malnourished and weren’t being properly educated. The sect has denied all allegations.
The community of about 200 people left their homes in Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, Que., during the night, and settled in Chatham, Ont. Last month, a judge found that their move had been made to avoid a custody proceeding in Quebec.