WHAT WILL CANADA “GAIN” IN ALLOWING PEOPLE IN THRALL TO ORGANIZED GANGSTERS INTO THE COUNTRY? “VICTIMS” OR NOT, THE COST OF MAINTAINING THEM IS JUST THE FIRST INSTALLMENT ON WHAT WE WILL EVENTUALLY HAVE TO PAY FOR THIS LUNACY _______________________
CBC Newsworld online
WebPosted Sat Aug 21 11:40:41 1999
EDMONTON – A string of gang-related shootings in Edmonton has police concerned about increased threats to public safety.
Early Wednesday evening, an 18-year-old was killed in a drive-by shooting at a busy intersection. It was the fourth shooting this month.
While no one has been arrested for last night’s shooting, police say they fear Asian gang warfare is likely to escalate. It is thought the gangs are fighting for control of Edmonton’s drug trade.
Sgt. Brian Boulanger of the Edmonton Police says the turf war may spread beyond the borders of gang territory.
“To this point, the violence has been directed toward certain targets. But we run the very real risk of an innocent bystander being caught up in the crossfire, as it were. And of course that’s our worst fear.”
Sgt. Boulanger says he expects more violence in the wake of Wednesday’s shooting. He’s not optimistic they can halt it, because victims and those targeted are refusing to cooperate with the police. _______________________
National Post Friday, August 27, 1999
‘Systematic fraud’ in visa applications, report finds Chinese gangs involved
Diane Francis National Post
Organized crime groups in China are providing false documentation to people interested in obtaining student visas as a backdoor way to illegally enter Canada, according to a source and an internal report from Citizenship and Immigration obtained by the National Post.
The report, called “Chinese Student Visas: Evidence of Organized Fraud,” shows that two-thirds of the applications recently investigated involved “systematic, organized fraud.”
“I’m not aware of the exact report, but two-thirds organized fraud? That sounds reasonable,” said Susan Gregson, an Immigration Canada program manager, in a telephone interview yesterday from Beijing.
“In a disturbingly high number of cases we have checked we find that the parents are not working where they say they are working or it’s a rundown place that simply couldn’t give them the income they are allegedly earning.”
She said applications in Beijing for visas are skyrocketing. They are up by 179% this year, she said. By the end of July, 5,210 people had applied for student visas in Canada, compared with only 1,865 for the same seven-month period in 1998. In 1994 only 900 applied.
The number of granted visas has also jumped for the first seven months of this year to 2,273 compared to 1,733 for all of 1998. There were 689 granted in 1997.
This means refusals have also soared, and this was because applicants and their families had “irregular” documents or did not have the funds they said they had, or needed, to attend four years of school here.
“We examine the bona fides, the student, a letter of acceptance from a Canadian institution. Do they have the money to be a student in Canada?” Ms. Gregson said. “Tuition fees, books and living expenses can cost $20,000 a year, depending on where and what institution is involved.
“Although market reforms have created a number of rich people here, and the population is comparatively richer than 15 or 20 years ago, there’s only a small fraction of the population who could afford this,” she said.
The pressure to study abroad is due to the fact that there’s a shortage of places in China’s universities. Many families have only one child and are willing to sacrifice their entire savings to send them abroad, she added.
“In the application we have to be satisfied the family has the funds. With salary levels much lower, we have to wonder how $20,000 a year for four or five years can be afforded. And some people have been coming up with documentation that is not reliable,” she said.
“False documentation is so easily available here. There has grown up a whole industry of immigration agents who provide, as part of their service, fraudulent documents. This is the minority of cases we believe, but I don’t have the resources to check out every application,” she added.
Once in Canada, nobody tracks the whereabouts of the students or what they are doing, said the source.
The Beijing office loses track after a visa is granted, Ms. Gregson said.
“I can’t get the figures and once they have gone there is no file anymore,” she said. “I get no feedback, but I’m aware of 33 who have done that [applied as refugees].”
Many others apply for permanent landed immigrant status — not the intention of a student visa.
In fact, some university officials in Canada have been complaining that foreign visa students paying higher tuitions are able to get landed immigrant status after a short time, which means their tuition rates suddenly drop to those charged Canadian residents. Once they are immigrants they also get health benefits.
Between 1992 and 1996, the Canadian Bureau for International Education said there was a 16% decline in the number of international students at Canadian universities and a 28% increase in landed immigrants, formerly visa students.
“The recent boats are not unexpected and have been going for quite some time,” said Ms. Gregson, a participant in high-level meetings with Chinese officials who warned Canada about illegal smuggling from Fujian province due to Canada’s generous refugee and immigration process.
“We are trying to work with the Chinese government,” Ms. Gregson said. “But people-smuggling is an increasingly lucrative business. It’s an international problem and requires an international solution,” she said. _______________________
AND YET, ACCORDING TO INFORMATION PROMULGATED BY IMMIGRATION CANADA’S BEIJING OFFICE – ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS ARE THE LEAST OF YOUR WORRIES WHEN YOU DECIDE TO “STUDY” IN CANADA:
“All persons who want to study in Canada need to apply for a student authorization and obtain the written approval of a visa officer.” [AND LATER…] “Are there any courses for which a student authorization is not required? A student authorization is not required if the course is: an English or French language course that lasts a maximum of three months; not academic, professional or vocational; for example; self-improvement, general interest courses such as arts and crafts; courses included in tour packages as a secondary activity for tourists; and day care or nursery school programs which are not a compulsory part of the elementary school system.”
Vancouver Province Friday, August 27, 1999
Immigration consultant is key suspect in hacking case
Fabian Dawson The Province
VANCOUVER – A key suspect in the infiltration of computers at the Canadian High Commission in Hong Kong has settled in North Vancouver as an immigration consultant.
The woman, who an RCMP officer said in 1992 had fled to Taiwan, moved to Canada in the early 1990s with her husband and two children.
A family member confirmed yesterday that the woman worked at the Canadian mission in Hong Kong before coming to Canada.
“She is on vacation now,” said the family member, who refused to answer further questions.
The RCMP yesterday confirmed that the Computer Assisted Immigration Process System at the Canadian High Commission (now the consulate general) in Hong Kong had allegedly been infiltrated.
Classified documents allege that at least 788 files were deleted from the CAIPS computer and up to 2,000 blank visa forms disappeared.
The documents allege that locally hired staff at the Hong Kong mission were paid to delete some people’s background files from the computer system, purportedly to hide their links with Chinese triad gangs.
The documents also alleged that the missing visa forms could have been used by hundreds of people — including criminals — to enter Canada illegally.
The woman now living in North Vancouver became a suspect after fake immigration stamps were found in her desk and she was discovered to have given herself access to the CAIPS computer.
Corporal Gilles Moreau said the RCMP is now investigating how sensitive information involved in the case found its way into the public domain, along with allegations of a cover-up by senior RCMP officers.
“This is a very sensitive case involving the breach of national security and the investigations are ongoing,” said Cpl. Moreau.
The apparent security breach was kept under wraps for more than seven years, despite reports filed with the RCMP, the Department of External Affairs, Immigration Canada and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.
The penetration of the computer first came to light in 1992 after Brian McAdam, then immigration control officer, discovered that background information on triad members and others was being deleted.
He and Inspector Garry Clement, then the RCMP liaison officer, sounded the alarm in Ottawa.
The government responded by sending David Balser, an electronic data processing officer, and RCMP Sergeant John Conohan to Hong Kong.
Despite evidence indicating security breaches by locally employed staff and the discovery of fake Immigration Canada stamps in one worker’s desk, neither investigator recommended further action.
Cpl. Moreau said yesterday the 1992 investigation was carried out to the best of the ability of the officers and shut down due to a lack of evidence. He said the investigation was reactivated in 1995 when new evidence surfaced.
Cpl. Moreau refused comment on allegations of a cover-up put forward by Corporal Robert Read, of the force’s immigration and passport section in Ottawa.
Cpl. Read took over the case in September, 1996, and made some headway but was abruptly taken off the case.
Documents allege that Cpl. Read tried to track down the woman who became a suspect after fake immigration stamps were found in her desk.
She had also allegedly given herself unauthorized access privileges to the computer.
Cpl. Read told his superiors that the original officer involved in the case was given a business card, B.C. driver’s licence number and the address of the suspect, but did not pursue the information.
RCMP sources familiar with the case said they are also puzzled why Cpl. Read’s recommendation that Vancouver officers find the woman was not followed.
Cpl. Read has filed an obstruction of justice complaint against his superiors, alleging a cover-up of the case. _______________________
THIS CASE GIVES OFF THE FOUL ODOR OF CORRUPTION. ASK YOUR MP HOW HIGH DOES IT GO? WHY WAS THIS WOMAN NOT APPREHENDED? WHY WAS SHE ALLOWED TO OPEN THE SAME KIND OF BUSINESS IN CANADA?WHEN WILL SHE BE ARRESTED? ARE THOSE WHO DID NOT FOLLOW UP ON THISSCANDAL TO BE DISCIPLINED? DOES ANYONE IN OTTAWA CARE? _______________________
Victoria Times Colonist Friday August 27, 1999 front (A-1)
RCMP admits it’s probing safety breach at embassy
VANCOUVER — The RCMP confirmed Thursday it is investigating allegations Chinese organized crime infiltrated and manipulated immigration data at Canada’s Embassy in Hong Kong.
Chinese nationals working at the embassy are alleged to have tampered with Canada’s computer-assisted immigration processing system to help leaders of triads enter Canada, the Vancouver Sun said in a report from Ottawa.
Brian McAdam, a former immigration officer at the Canadian High Commission in Hong Kong, claims as many as 788 computer files of triad-linked immigration applicants were erased in the early 1990s. He also alleges up to 2,000 blank visas were stolen.
McAdam says the incidents are part of a broader conspiracy involving triads, the Chinese government, and high-level individuals in the Canadian government.
He says he was ostracized by his foreign-service colleagues and left the government suffering from severe depression.
McAdam’s allegations are supported by RCMP Cpl. Robert Read, who was on the team that investigated the allegations in 1996 but then re-assigned. “I believe there has been a massive conspiracy to cover up the whole issue,’ Read told the Vancouver Province earlier this week.
RCMP spokesman Sgt. Marc Richer wouldn’t discuss Read’s status with the Mounties, but confirmed a police investigation was first launched in 1992.
“No evidence was uncovered that suggested that employees who had access to the (computer) system had manipulated the data that would have allowed triad members to enter Canada,” Richer said.
“In 1995, new information came forward and a new investigation was started. That is the current investigation that is on-going today.
“Of course it is a serious matter and the RCMP intends to follow through to the end.”
Richer said the investigation has dragged on for years because of difficulty tracking down potential witnesses and suspects. Many have left the embassy, which became a consulate-general in 1997 when China took control of Hong Kong.
Richer wouldn’t comment on Read’s allegation of a massive government cover-up, but confirmed the officer remains on the force.
The Reform party called for a parliamentary inquiry Thursday into the alleged ability of criminals from abroad to enter Canada through immigration channels.
McAdam, former immigration control officer at the embassy and the source of the allegations, began compiling lists of triad-linked Chinese nationals seeking to enter Canada in the early 1990s.
In 1992, he said he accessed various computer files of the suspects and discovered that when files appeared the data on the screen would suddenly disappear.
He believes Chinese nationals working at the embassy improperly obtained access to the files and erased them in order to protect criminals trying to enter Canada.
Garrett Lambert, head of the Canadian embassy from 1994 until 1997, questioned Thursday how erased files could help someone enter Canada.
“I would suspect any immigration officer who called up a file and saw blanks where there should be none would have had an alarm going off,” said Lambert, who now teaches business administration at the University of Victoria.
McAdam agreed missing files would likely mean an applicant would have no chance of getting to Canada from Hong Kong.
However, he said triad members could have used the information from sources inside the embassy in order to seek entry to Canada from another embassy, such as Canada’s post in Singapore.
He said he sent his lists of suspected criminals to other embassies, but said his efforts were largely ignored.
After the 1992 RCMP investigation, McAdam said he discovered evidence that up to 2,000 blank visa forms went missing. A Chinese national employee was discovered with counterfeit immigration stamps.
McAdam said his report to the RCMP includes a list of names of Canadian government co-conspirators with China and the triads, including people at the government’s highest levels.
McAdam, 57, said he left the foreign service shortly after returning to Canada in 1993.
He said he was ostracized and degraded because of his work in Hong Kong. He suffered from severe depression and retired for medical reasons.
… THE USUAL BIG THANK YOU FOR ANYONE WHO ACTUALLY CARES ABOUT CANADA