Monday, February 1, 2010

Over 300 People Claim Same Address in Canadian Citizenship Fraud Case

"More than 300 people linked to suspected case of citizenship fraud"
From Monday's Globe and Mail
Published on Monday, Feb. 01, 2010

"More than 300 people who claimed to live at the same address in Mississauga are being investigated by the RCMP in what police suspect may be a massive case of citizenship fraud.

The case revolves around an address located in the same building as Palestine House, a Mississauga centre that offers language classes and settlement services to new immigrants and also acts as an advocate for Palestinian and Arab causes.

Citizenship judges were briefed on the file late last year and were warned to look for large numbers of immigration applicants claiming the same address, The Globe and Mail has learned...

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney didn't comment on this case specifically, but said he met recently with immigration enforcement officials who briefed him on the issue of citizenship fraud. He said it's a matter of increasing concern.

'There are a number of ongoing police investigations into this practice of people abroad hiring consultants to establish for them evidence of residency in Canada, to meet the three-year residency requirement, when, in point of fact, they are often living abroad most or all of that time,' Mr. Kenney said.

Pay scales in foreign countries that vary according to nationality are acting as a new kind of catalyst for this kind of fraud, he added. In places such as Dubai, for example, an employee with a Canadian passport can earn a substantial premium compared to those from poorer nations.

'The notion is that there's a more costly labour market in Western countries. If these people can get a Western passport then they move up the salary scale,' Mr. Kenney said."

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