Ottawa, Ontario – The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced that an Ottawa man was sentenced yesterday to 43 and a half months in jail after being found guilty of five offences under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Criminal Code of Canada for his involvement in an immigration fraud scheme.
On November 18, 2015, Mohamed Farah Abdulle, 54 years old, was found guilty of violating subsection 402.2(1) – Possession of identity documents to commit offences; paragraph 366(1)(a) – Making false documents; s. 368(1); and Use of false documents under the Criminal Code; and paragraph 127(a) – Misrepresentation of material facts; and paragraph 129(1)(b) – Bribery under the IRPA.
Abdulle’s conviction follows a complex, CBSA-led investigation, dubbed Project Vista, that began in 2010 and involved Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Ottawa Police Service.
Abdulle acted as an immigration consultant and forged documents to enable immigrants to enter Canada under the IRCC’s Private Sponsorship of Refugee Program’s Groups of Five sponsorships. He filed over 170 sponsorship applications for over 528 individuals and collected a fee from the applicants for his services. The fraudulent sponsorship applications were then used to secure legitimate immigration sponsorships for individuals to enter Canada.
The CBSA became aware of the scheme following a tip from an individual whose identity had been used to support sponsorship applications without their consent. The CBSA’s Criminal Investigations Division became involved in this case in 2011 and uncovered illegal and criminal activity by Abdulle.
“This conviction sends an important message to anyone considering immigration fraud. The CBSA is committed to ensuring that the integrity of Canada’s immigration system is not compromised by individuals intending to profit from these crimes at the expense of legitimate immigrants seeking to live in Canada.” – Jeff Davidson, Director, CBSA Enforcement and Intelligence Operations Division
- Private Sponsorship of Refugee Program’s G5 sponsorships are described as a group of five or more Canadian citizens or permanent residents, each of whom is at least 18 years of age, who agree to work together to sponsor a refugee.
- It is an offence for anyone other than an accredited immigration representative to conduct business, for a fee or other consideration, at any stage of an application or proceeding.
- Immigration representatives must be either members in good standing of a provincial or territorial law society, including paralegals; members of the Chambre des notaires du Québec; or members of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC).
- The ICCRC is the regulator of immigration consultants and has introduced a number of initiatives designed to improve consumer protection. For information on the ICCRC or to find out if a consultant is accredited you can visit its website at www.iccrc-crcic.ca, call 1-877-836-7543 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)