Police in a western state of India have begun delving deeper into the deaths of four Indian migrants whose bodies were found in Manitoba just short of the Canada-U. S. border.

Ashish Bhatia, director general of police in Gujarat, says investigators are trying to determine whether there was a travel agent in India who helped the group.

"It's very clear that these people went to Canada and they were illegally trying to enter the U.S.A., so ... we are looking into that," Bhatia said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

RCMP found the bodies of a man, a woman, a teen and a baby last week near Emerson, Man. Police believe they had tried to cross into the United States during a heavy snowstorm in freezing temperatures.

Investigators have said they believe the deaths are linked to a human smuggling scheme.

meland Security investigations into the illegal movement of people.

"The smugglers have a very specific way of doing things. It's a business for them.

"It's about money, not about people."

Court documents state one of the individuals who was picked up told officers his group had been walking for 11 hours through the bitter cold. One woman was taken to hospital because one of her hands was to be partially amputated.

The man said he had paid a large amount of money to get a fake student visa in Canada and was expecting a ride to a relative in Chicago after he crossed, the documents say.

Deepak Ahluwalia, a Canadian immigration lawyer working with asylum seekers in California, said the Emerson crossing is frequented by smugglers and migrants who know its remoteness makes it inaccessible to patrol officers.

Yvon Dandurand, a criminologist at the University of the Fraser Valley in British Columbia, said people turn to smugglers for help because they would not qualify under immigration law. Documents can also take years to process.