Canada Border Services Agency officials used documents found in a garbage bin to begin unravelling what they allege was a sprawling immigration fraud scheme led by a couple from White City, Sask., involving fraudulent job offers, hundreds of Chinese nationals and dozens of Saskatchewan business people.
A search warrant application that alleges a wide range of businesses — including a motel in Fort Qu’Appelle, an advertising agency in Estevan and an insurance company in Regina co-owned by the city’s former mayor, Doug Archer were caught up in the scheme.
As part of its investigation, CBSA filed information to obtain a search warrant (ITO) in March 2014. The agency sought and received authority from the court to access the banking records of Qi Wang and Yujuan Cui, who are accused in the case.
The ITO details peculiar bits of evidence for CBSA’s allegations, including an accidentally recorded conversation, a sheet of paper where someone was practising forging a signature, and an email in which the owner of a small computer company expresses surprise when he learns his company was offering jobs to 21 Chinese nationals.
In December 2015, the Crown filed a series of charges against Wang and Cui, accusing the married couple of receiving payments from Chinese nationals seeking permanent residency in Canada in exchange for securing them job-offer letters, often for positions that didn’t actually exist.
The Crown also alleges Wang and Cui offered money to legitimate business owners in Saskatchewan in exchange for fraudulent job offers. In some cases, authorities say, the couple simply forged job-offer documents without the business owner’s explicit consent.
In a fact summary filed in court, the Crown says CBSA investigators found more than 1,200 names of Chinese nationals in records seized from Wang and Cui’s home, with 641 of those names showing up in the federal or provincial immigration system.
Seventy-eight of those people had become permanent residents in Canada.
The Crown alleges the couple “illegally received approximately $600,000 from Chinese nationals” in exchange for job offers and “paid out approximately $95,000 to 17 different Saskatchewan business owners.”