Canada expelling Eritrean diplomat for using consulate to shake down citizens for ‘national defence’

National Post | News

TORONTO — The Consulate General of Eritrea in Toronto, the African country’s only diplomatic outpost in Canada, has long been accused of running a collection racket set up to finance the regime and its armed forces.

As the National Post first reported in 2011, the consulate was acting as a fundraising front that solicited a 2% income tax and a $300 to $500 “national defence” fee from Eritrean expatriates in Canada.

On Wednesday, Ottawa moved to shut the scheme down, ordering the expulsion of consul Semere Ghebremariam O. Micael over his persistent efforts to use the consulate to violate a United Nations military embargo.

The expulsion order followed a government investigation that found that, months after Canada had ordered him to stop, the Eritrean consul was continuing to solicit money, some of it explicitly for military purposes.

The scheme was considered illegal because the UN Security Council imposed sanctions on…

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