Saturday, March 5, 2011


More than 1000 applicants appear to be involved in residency and citizenship scam. This is massive, probably the largest immigration fraudulent scheme ever reported. I am sure that there are a lot of nervous people out there today....

Applicants are cautioned to engage only reputable lawyers with a recognized track record to handle their applications, and to shun those who make promises or offer to assist applicants to present false information to obtain a benefit though misrepresentation or fraudulent means.

More charges may come in immigration fraud case - Nova Scotia - CBC News

March 4, 2011

More charges may come in immigration fraud case

By CBC News

A Halifax-based immigration consultant accused of fraud in helping foreign nationals obtain Canadian citizenship could soon face additional charges.
A Halifax-based immigration consultant accused of fraud in helping foreign nationals obtain Canadian citizenship could soon face additional charges.

Hassan Al-Awaid of Bedford did not appear in court Friday morning as scheduled to face the 53 counts under various immigration laws.

Crown Prosecutor Tim McLaughlin said Friday that the sheer volume of paperwork means it could be many months before a Halifax man charged with helping foreign nationals fraudulently become Canadian residents and citizens enters a plea

Hassan Al-Awaid, 57, is the president of Canadian Commercial Group, a company offering help to immigrants. He faces 53 charges, including 22 counts of counselling/misrepresentation, 22 counts of misrepresentation, and nine counts of false representation under the Citizenship Act.

"The initial seizure was a room 20 by 40 full of documents," said McLaughlin of the files the RCMP found.

The RCMP investigation into 1,100 files of fraudulent residency and Canadian citizenship began four years ago after the group that regulates immigration consultants stripped Al-Awaid of his license.

He's accused of advising foreigners to apply for passports claiming they lived in Canada when they did not. That number is likely to grow according to RCMP.

"We're looking very closely at each and every one of those 1,100 files. Where it's established that residency has not been met or has been obtained fraudulently, those people will not receive their citizenship," said Jon Stone, director of communications for Citizenship and Immigration.

Stone said at least 100 of those files look suspicious and most of the applicants are living outside Canada, some of whom will have their citizenship revoked.

Al-Awaid has dual citizenship-the RCMP don't consider him a flight risk and have returned his passports.

"It's anybody guess why anybody would do this, but Canadian citizenship is a very valuable commodity," said Stone.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Wednesday that Ottawa has zero tolerance for immigration fraud.

In a statement, Kenney said Ottawa would use the full strength of Canadian law to track down immigrants who obtained their citizenship papers with false documents and where evidence permits will revoke their citizenship.

Kenney, commenting on the Al-Awaid case, said Canadian citizenship is not something to be bought and sold by crooked consultants.

If found guilty, Al-Awaid could face a fine and up to five years in jail.