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Burnaby man arrested for 1983 Oklahoma murder

A Burnaby man has been arrested in connection with a 1983 U.S. murder after applying for a NEXUS pass.

Suhail Shanti, 48, was arrested June 24 by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers when he arrived at the Pacific Highway Port of Entry NEXUS office in Blaine, Wash. to register for the border queue-jumping program, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

As part of the interview process, Shanti's fingerprints were electronically scanned and compared to those in a nationwide database, resulting in the discovery of a warrant for his arrest.

Shanti, a Canadian citizen, is a suspect in a 1983 first-degree murder in LeFlore County, Oklahoma.

According to media reports, the case involved the murder of a Syrian international student at a college and that, after being charged, Shanti fled to Jordan before his trial.

The arrest warrant was immediately confirmed with Oklahoma officials and Shanti was handcuffed while still waiting in the NEXUS office. He was turned over to the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office for extradition back to state custody.

“The use of technology in the performance of our mission to protect the American homeland is aiding our border security efforts,” said acting port director Deborah Engels. “Apprehending fugitives who have fled from justice no matter how long ago or far away is an important element in keeping communities safe.”

wchow@burnabynewsleader.com

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