Ibrahim Ali was convicted of first-degree murder of a 13-year-old girl in July 2017.
According to police, the operation was launched when the DNA found on the victim's body showed markers corresponding to the Kurdish ethnic minority.
When a voluntary DNA search among Kurdish men failed to yield a breakthrough, police devised a new plan to obtain of DNA without permission: The secret collection of DNA during the Kurdish New Year celebration, called Newroz, at Barnet Marine Park in Burnaby on March 25, 2018.
However those who got free samples were not informed that the tea company was fake and that the whole process was designed solely to allow the police to obtain their DNA and identity .
In December 2022, Crown attorney Daniel Porte told the court that 150 cups were taken during the party.
Once the DNA was confirmed by a US laboratory that performed better than those in Canada, police identified Syrian refugee Ibrahim Ali as being linked to the crime. She then began surveillance which resulted in the seizure of the cigarette butt on August 24, 2018 and her arrest a week later.
Meghan McDermott, director of standards for the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, said she was stunned to learn of the operation. She describes as unacceptable and reprehensible the fact that the police did not potentially obtain a warrant to carry out this strategist.
It's disappointing and worrying that we have found a creative way – which the police probably say they are very proud of – to violate the rights of so many people.
A quote from Meghan McDermott, British Columbia Civil Liberties Association
David Eby, the Premier of British Columbia, said that he supported the police's actions, saying he had a really hard time accepting the idea that the police shouldn't have done it.
He added that the victim's rights were profoundly and unalterably violated by her killer and that the actions of the police protected the community from a predator.
Ibrahim Ali's lawyers filed a notice of appeal on December 11. They did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
With the information from The Canadian Press