3000 Would-Be Immigrants Used Fake Quebec Health Cards : Report

3,000 would-be immigrants used fake Que. health cards: report

Canwest News Service
January 24, 2009 10:01 PM

MONTREAL Quebecs health-care insurance board and the RCMP have uncovered a ring of about 3,000 north Africans allegedly using fake medicare cards to help themselves immigrate to Canada, according to a report in La Presse published Saturday.

In a statement, the Regie de lassurance maladie du Quebec confirmed it is investigating a sophisticated subterfuge that apparently was set up by an immigration consultant to make believe his clients live in Quebec. It did not say how many people might be involved, however.

The operation apparently permitted non-residents of Canada to gather various types of proof of residence in Quebec, the Regie added.

Children were signed up, in name only, in schools and at day camps to prove families residence, the La Presse story said.

Those allegedly benefiting from the operation live in Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria, the story said.

An RCMP spokesman told the Montreal Gazette he could not confirm or deny there is an investigation into the matter. But he said the RCMP does occasionally investigate health-insurance fraud.

Coincidentally, Revenue Quebec officers this week conducted eight raids in Montreal and Laval on Decision immigration 2000, Inc., an immigration consulting firm.

Revenue Quebec suspects the firms administrator and two employees of producing false income statements for non-residents since December 2004, a statement from the agency said.

Its not known if the case is linked to the investigation by the health insurance board.