February 7, 2006: RCMP Eyes Alleged Visa Scam (By Tom Godfrey in The Ottawa Sun)
RCMP EYES ALLEGED VISA SCAM
February 7, 2006
By TOM GODFREY
TORONTO — Mounties are probing an alleged immigration scam at the Canadian Embassy in Poland in which dozens of Poles may have been sent here illegally without background checks.
Officers were at the embassy in Warsaw last week, interviewing diplomats and support staff in the visa section, security officials and Polish community members said yesterday.
Police are poring over documents related to the issuing of visas for the last two years, sources said.
$8GS PER VISA
“There were no background checks required,” said one Toronto-area Pole, who knew others who said they paid for visas. “Even the worst criminal can buy a visa for Canada.”
Poles in Canada said they dished out $8,000 to an Etobicoke man for each visa to bring their relatives here.
They claimed the man acted as a front for two embassy support workers, who allegedly issued the visas.
The man would allegedly transfer some of the cash and identification for the visas to the embassy workers, community members said. The workers would reportedly short-circuit the embassy computer system and issue “emergency,” handwritten visas.
Immigration, Foreign Affairs and RCMP officials wouldn't comment on the matter.
Previous story: Cartoon rage flares anew
Next story: Judge bans foreign press