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Immigration fraud charges laid against 3 Halifax men

Canada Border Services Agency
Canada Border Services Agency (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Canada Border Services Agency believes suspects have left the country

Posted: May 18, 2012 1:50 PM AT 

Last Updated: May 18, 2012 1:48 PM AT

Three men who ran an immigration consulting firm in Halifax have been charged with running a fraud scheme to get people into Canada, it was announced today.
The Canada Border Services Agency said it doesn't believe the three are currently in Canada.
It's alleged the men used their business, Canada 2000 Immigration and Business Services Inc., to help families maintain fake homes in Canada so they would keep their permanent resident status.
People under the permanent resident category must live in the country for 730 days over a five-year period.
In May 2011, the border agency raided the business at its Brenton Street location in Halifax. They also searched three other locations in the city.
Two people were arrested at the time but later released without charges. A border agency spokesperson said one of those men is now being charged.
Ziad El Shurafa and Mohammed Elhajabed each face eight counts of counselling misrepresentation. Awni Sakalla faces two counts of the same charge.
The CBSA has issued warrants for El Shurafa and Elhajabed, although it's believed they're no longer in the country.
The CBSA said their investigation isn't finished. It's still trying to figure out how many people may have fraudulently maintained their status in the country through the company.

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