Halifax, Nova Scotia, May 18, 2012 - The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced today that it has laid charges against three men involved in an immigration fraud scheme.
After a lengthy investigation into the activities of Canada 2000 Immigration and Business Services Inc., a licensed immigration consulting business operating in Halifax, Ziad El Shurafa and Mohammed Elhajabed have been jointly charged with eight counts of counselling misrepresentation, under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Awni Sakalla has been charged with two counts of counselling misrepresentation.
Each charge represents a situation where the individuals assisted a family in committing residency fraud—creating the fictitious appearance of a Canadian residence for immigrants with Canadian permanent resident status, for the purpose of maintaining that status and obtaining Canadian citizenship. The charges relate to activities going as far back as January 2006.
"Immigration fraud is a criminal offence in Canada and damages the integrity of our immigration system," said Andrew LeFrank, Regional Director General of CBSA Atlantic Region. "The CBSA takes this issue very seriously and works closely with its partners to identify, investigate and prosecute those engaging in immigration fraud to the full extent of the law."
The CBSA executed search warrants related to this investigation in May 2011 at the business location on Brenton Street and at three other locations in the city.
The investigation continues to determine how many individuals may have fraudulently maintained their status in Canada through Canada 2000 Immigration and Business Services Inc.
For more information on immigration fraud, please visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Web site.
To report immigration fraud in Canada, or if you have information about these individuals, please call the Border Watch Toll-free Line at 1‑888-502-9060. All information is treated as confidential.
For media information:
Canada Border Services Agency