JEFF J. BROWN—For most of us, likely including Meng, there is a huge difference in perception between dealing with immigration (CBSA) and police (RCMP) officers. Immigration greets us at the airport and stamps our passports, asking mostly innocuous questions about our visits.
Yet, not realized by most of us, immigration can serve court ordered arrests. Thus, why did the RCMP officers, who were standing right there, not arrest Meng directly? I’ll give you three guesses and the first two don’t count. It was likely to give Meng the impression that she only had a problem with her Canadian paperwork, since she had been a legal resident of Vancouver since 2001, not that she was being set up for extradition to the USA on criminal charges.
Notice in the above timeline, CBSA held and questioned Meng for 2.5 hours (11:45 a.m. – 2:15 p.m.), where,
Meng is (again interviewed by an agent for 14 minutes and is) questioned about her role with Huawei. During this time Meng is compelled to hand over the passcodes to her electronic devices.
This timeline strongly suggests an illegal sting operation to get Meng to innocently spill the beans to immigration about her case and Huawei, give up all her passwords to the electronic devices that CBSA took and later turned over to RCMP, not to mention the devices of Meng’s still anonymous travel companion from Hong Kong.