Burlington resident arrested for immigration fraud: charged with defrauding Syrian refugees with promises of getting them sponsorship into Canada.

Crime 100By Staff

March 14th, 20918

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A Burlington resident has been arrested by the Halton Regional Police Service as a result of an investigation into fraud-related allegation.

HRPS crestThe Halton Regional Police Service Fraud Unit have today wrapped up a three-month long investigation into allegations that a Burlington resident has been defrauding Syrian refugees currently living in Qatar with promises of getting them sponsorship into Canada.

A search warrant was executed on the suspect’s residence and the accused was arrested at that time.

Charged with 8 counts of Fraud Over $5,000 dollars and money laundering is Bashar ABDULAHAD (49yrs) of Burlington.

The allegations came to the attention of the police through a community volunteer group in Toronto who had victims come forward to them through relatives now living in Canada.

Working with this group and a contact in Qatar, police were able to identify eight victim families who had all sent funds to the suspect with total losses in excess of $200,000 dollars. The police believe there are many more victims however given the logistical issues of victims who are currently living overseas, officers have had to rely upon a local volunteer in the affected country to spread the word on the investigation and locate other victims. Given the victims’ current status, police believe some are reluctant to come forward.

The suspect claimed he could bring the victims into Canada through a local church under an immigration sponsorship program. The church has cooperated with police and has no involvement in the fraud.

Anyone with information pertaining to this incident is asked to contact the Halton Regional Police Service Fraud Unit, Det. Cst. Jon Williams at 905-825-4747 ext. 8737.

Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers “See Something, Hear Something, Know Something” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.

Anyone charged with a criminal offense is  presumed to be innocent until a court of law decides otherwise.

 

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