Sunday, July 1, 2012


This conduct shold never be tolerated from a civil servant. It reamins to be seen if some applicatns who gained status will be prosecuted.

Immigration officer admits scam - Crime -

June 30, 2012

Immigration officer admits scam


The RCMP has begun an urgent, widespread probe of files of dozens of Toronto-area Hispanic residents following the arrest of a corrupt immigration official. (QMI Agency)
TORONTO - A senior immigration officer admitted he accepted bribes from newcomers in exchange for status in Canada.

George Gonsalves Barriero, 55, collected $6,000 from two victims before he asked a third victim for $1,500. Instead of paying up, the third victim reported him to the police in 2010, said Crown attorney Ken Lockhart.

Barriero pleaded guilty to three counts of breach of trust of public office and three counts of defrauding the government of Canada this week. He has been suspended from his Citizen and Immigration Canada job at the Dundas St. W. office since being charged in December 2010.

Barriero, who was with immigration for 12 years, started working in 2005 as an officer with the discretion to approve applications for permanent residency or refuse and refer them to other departments for risk assessments, said Lockhart in reading an agreed statement of facts.

He used his position to exploit one victim for $4,000 in bribes and another for $2,000. These two - who won’t be charged - are being treated as victims and will provide victim impact statements when the sentencing hearing starts on Aug. 28 in front of Madam Justice Andrea Tuck-Jackson at the Ontario Court of Justice.

At the time of his arrest, the RCMP began probing the files of dozens of Toronto-area Hispanic residents following Barriero’s arrest.

Officers allege the accused preyed on members of the city’s Hispanic community. In December 2010, RCMP Sgt. Marc LaPorte said officers of an Immigration and Passport Unit are scouring cases handled by the accused.

“We are working backwards,” LaPorte said Friday. “So far we are aware of three victims.”

Police allege some immigrants, who had a checkered history, said they paid $2,000 each to a man to have their cases approved.

“The suspect had the authority to grant people permanent resident status in Canada,” LaPorte said. “Some victims were blatantly asked for money.”

Barriero approached applicants by offering to approve their applications for money.

“We take all allegations of employee misconduct very seriously and have initiated a full internal investigation,” said Immigration Canada’s regional director general, Lucille LeBlanc. “We have been fully co-operating with the RCMP and have taken the necessary actions to safeguard the integrity of our operations.”

There were suspicions the fraudulent scheme was more widespread but only three cases were prosecuted.

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