Student immigration scam investigated
By TOM GODFREY
Last Updated: October 14, 2010 5:00pm
An immigration scam targeting Chinese foreign students who are seeking online help with their visas is under investigation, Toronto Police said Thursday.
Those conducting the scam claim to be helping the victims who were in Canada illegally, said immigration consultant Roy Kellogg.
In two known cases the suspects failed to do work on the cases and called immigration officers to have the students arrested for removal on warrants, he said.
The most recent victim, 33, who didnt want his name released, is being detained at a west-end detention centre awaiting deportation to China. He arrived in Canada in 2002 on a student visa.
The suspects answer questions online about immigration issues, falsely claim to have corrupt government officials working inside citizenship and immigration as well as with the Immigration and Refugee Board, Kellogg said.
A second student, who has been living in Toronto on an expired visa, was allegedly scammed of $30,000 last week by two suspects he met online on a Chinese-language immigration-help website for York University students, he said.
Const. Tony Vella said officers are aware of the scheme and an investigation is underway.
This is one of the many things we would investigate, Vella said. This is being looked at by our officers.
He said victims are urged to call police and file and complaint.
Alleged victim Feng Pan, 24, a failed refugee claimant, is in jail and lost $18,000 she dished out to two men she also met on the site who claimed they could help her.
Pan claimed one of the suspects said he had an interpreter with the IRB on his payroll.
She said after the suspects took her money then gave her the e-mail of an officer of the Canadian Border Services Agency who rather than helping her, arrested her on an outstanding warrant.
Pan, who is also awaiting deportation, arrived in Canada in 2003 from China and was ordered to leave in 2007 after her claim was rejected.
York University spokesman Alex Bilyk said he was unaware of a scam and there had been no complaints from students.