Ghost Immigrants: Paying for Canadian citizenship – The Fifth Estate

Ghost Immigrants: Paying for Canadian citizenship – The Fifth Estate

[ ♪♪ ] -[ Frèdèric ] Edmonton. Every year, Alberta’s
capital welcomes thousands of immigrants. But in 2010, an ordinary
home caught the attention of citizenship and
immigration officers. This residence seemed to be
attracting a suspiciously high number of Chinese immigrants. Officers found that
during an eight-month period, over 40 newly arrived
Chinese immigrants had reported living here. Officers detected a similar
pattern in other residences in Calgary, Edmonton,
and Richmond, B.C. A lot of the addresses were
repeating over and over again, to you know 10, 20, 30, even up
to 114 different people residing at particular residences. So, which is obviously odd. There was one address in Calgary
that was used over 60 different times and so the, the officers
at immigration, refugee, and citizenship Canada
referred the case on to CBSA for further investigation. -[ Frèdèric ] Officers had
only uncovered the tip of the iceberg. Hundreds more would eventually
be caught in the largest immigration fraud
in Canadian history. When examined at the
Vancouver airport, one of these immigrants
admitted he spent only ten days in Calgary. He said he stayed with a friend
but could not recall his name. Another immigrant, whose
address on file was in Edmonton, admitted to officers she
had never lived in Alberta. She didn’t even recognize
the name of the province. Investigators soon realized all
these immigrants had something in common. They were clients of a Vancouver
immigration consultant, Xun Wang, nicknamed Sunny Wang. [ ♪♪ ] Originally from China, Wang
moved to Vancouver where he founded in 2001 New Can, an
immigration consultancy firm. He had many employees. It was run like a
high-volume consultancy. They had offices in
downtown Vancouver, they had offices in Richmond,
they had offices in China. -[ Frèdèric ] At first,
Wang registered with the Canadian society of
immigration consultants, the professional
regulatory body at the time. But in 2006, he let his
membership lapse and became what’s commonly known
as a ghost consultant. He also wasn’t licensed to
do any of this stuff anyway, so he wasn’t authorized to
be an immigration consultant, never mind an immigration
consultant committing the frauds. -[ Frèdèric ] Ghost
consultant Sunny Wang didn’t operate in the shadows. He openly advertised in
Vancouver’s Chinese language media to immigrants who didn’t
really want to live in Canada. Most immigration fraud typically
you’d think is about people sneaking into the country but
what you’ve got here with wealth migration, is people
actually sneaking out of Canada. -[ Frèdèric ] Ian Young is
the Vancouver correspondent for the South China
Morning Post, a Hong Kong based daily. There’s this Chinese
term “yiminjian”, what “yiminjian” is,
is “immigration jail”. This concept is very,
very well known, because you’ve got a lot of
people who are here in Canada who really don’t necessarily
want to be at least not in the short term. You know, you’ve got jobs
and families and businesses, you know, back in China to run. -[ Frèdèric ] The fraudulent
addresses provided by Sunny Wang created the illusion his clients
where living in Canada when they were actually in China. But stamps in their Chinese
passport left evidence of their long absences
from Canadian soil. The passports were sent off to
one of Mr Wang’s businesses in China and fraudulent stamps were
entered into those passports. Those are fraudulent
entry and exit stamps. So, in the example here, the
stamp on the left shows an arrival date into
China of January 3rd, and on the right, you have it
altered with the 01 is changed to 05, which means the
entry date is now May 3rd. So that would be an
example of where, instead of being
away from Canada, it would appear that
they were inside Canada. -[ Frèdèric ] Several of
Wang’s clients were living in China when the time
came to renew their Canadian permanent
resident card. In many cases, these clients
were required to pick up their new card in person in Canada. Wang had planned every detail. The clients flew
from China to Seattle, in Washington state. They entered Canada at the peace
arch crossing because passports are seldom stamped
at land borders. They flew from Vancouver to
Edmonton or Calgary where Wang’s accomplices picked
them up at the airport. The clients were driven around
the neighbourhood they claimed to live in, so they
could answer questions by immigration officials. It included things like the
schools that the children were attending, the description of
their neighborhood and a general sense of what it meant
to be Canadian as well. So very extensive consulting
and counseling that occurred. -[ Frédéric ] Wang told some
clients they didn’t even need to understand
the questions asked by immigration officials. They could say anything
they wanted in Chinese. It didn’t matter because the
right answers would be provided in translation by
the accomplice. For other clients, Wang offered
an elaborate fake job scheme with bogus Canadian companies. That’s exactly what Chinese
millionaire Xiao Qing Li did to maintain her permanent
residency while living in China. Well, Xiao Qing Li was given
this fabricated job with New Can. She never actually did any work
for them but in the process of that, she gets pays slips
and what have you that make her eligible for the
working poor tax benefit. And she claims that. -[ Frédéric ] For years, the
whole operation ran smoothly. Wang was making a
fortune, raking in over 10 million dollars in total. I mean, the scale and the
brazenness of the operation I think was probably the most
surprising to those of us in the industry, as how
openly it was being done, how many people were involved. They were operating in a way
that either didn’t care or weren’t concerned
of being caught. -[ Frédéric ] But Wang’s
employees became worried when they noticed authorities
zeroing in on them. In June 2011, one employee
warned him that immigration officials had discovered
fraudulent Calgary phone numbers linked to 29 clients. Wang seemed more concerned
about losing business than getting caught. “This is the incident with
the biggest loss,” he wrote in response. “All exploded at once, basically
have to abandon all the addresses and phones
currently being used. Have to rearrange everything. Probably will sacrifice
quite a few clients.” By the summer of 2012, CBSA
was tracking Wang’s every move, collecting evidence to
obtain a search warrant. Then, on October 17, 2012,
the agency pounced. A team of investigators executed
search warrants at Wang’s offices and residence. -We seized over 90
different bankers boxes, 18 different computers, that
had 12 terabytes of information on them. So, a tremendous amount of
evidence that had to be looked into, analysed and
matched together. -[ Frédéric ] Investigators knew
they had caught a big fish, but the seized material revealed
just how massive his operation was. -We ended up quickly finding
things like client lists, et cetera, so we were able to
tell right away that he had hundreds and
hundreds of clients. -We also came across,
hundreds of passports. Those passports, upon analysis,
showed that they had fraudulent entry and exit
stamps within them. -[ Frédéric ] Later on,
investigators obtained 18,000 New Can emails
written in Chinese. The team had to translate and
analyse the large amount of files, a massive undertaking
that took nearly two years. Then, in October 2014,
CBSA officers went back, but this time, to arrest Wang. -That day, when we arrived,
I would say he was literally caught red-handed. He came to the front counter
to meet our officers and he was holding copies of
altered passports and a passport application. So, literally we caught him
continuing the activities that we suspected him of
doing back in October 2012. -[ Frédéric ] Ultimately, Wang
pleaded guilty to 15 charges of fraud and tax evasion and was
fined more than $900,000. He was sentenced to
seven years in prison. It was a very significant
sentence and one of the longest that we’ve ever seen in Canada
for an immigration fraud scheme. -[ Frédéric ] When we come back,
we go looking for Sunny Wang. Mr. Wang, we just want to
ask you questions about the New Can case. [ ♪♪ ] [ ♪♪ ] -[ Frédéric ] After catching
Sunny Wang in Vancouver, the mastermind behind the
largest immigration fraud in Canadian history, the
Canada Border Services Agency set its sight on his clients. -We identified over
1,600 individuals. We’ve investigated each
one to see if there is an inadmissibility like, did they
misrepresent themselves to the Canadian
government officials? -[ Frédéric ] New Can clients
are regularly appearing before the immigration and refugee
board in Vancouver. Removal orders have
been issued against them. -Do you solemnly affirm that
the testimony to be given by you today shall be the truth,
the whole truth and nothing but the truth? -[ Frédéric ] Normally, cameras
are not allowed here. To obtain access, we agreed to
blur the image of the CBSA lawyer and not to reveal
the client’s identity. We will call her Ms Bing. -[ Frédéric ] Ms Bing hopes that
board member Craig Constantino will grant her clemency on
compassionate grounds. -[ Frédéric ] In 2009, Ms Bing
applied to become a Canadian citizen,
even though she wasn’t eligible because she hadn’t lived in
Canada for three years. So she paid Sunny Wang $9,000 to
help her get around the rules. She submitted a citizenship
application form prepared by Wang stating she had lived
in Calgary for two and a half years. In reality, she had stayed only
two months in Alberta before returning to China. -Before you signed the
documents, did you look over the complete forms? -[ Frédéric ] She says Wang told
her to lie to immigration officials if she
was ever questioned about her absences from Canada. -Why did you feel you had
to follow what he told you? -You thought perhaps you
might be able to get away with lying to immigration? -[ Frédéric ] In May 2011,
she and her daughter went to the Vancouver
citizenship offices, expecting to attend their
citizenship ceremony. But instead, she was questioned
by officers about suspicious stamps in her Chinese passport. Did they ask you questions
about the false stamps? Did you tell the truth? Do you remember how long
you told the officer you had lived in Calgary? So your daughter spoke to
these officers and told the Visa officers that she went to
school in Calgary for 2 years. Who told her to say that? You got your daughter to
be untruthful to CIC? -[ Frédéric ] Ms Bing did ask
Wang to withdraw her citizenship application and to
give her money back. Ms Bing’s lawyer,
Peter Larlee, says she’s a victim of the fraudster. I would submit that every client
of Sunny Wang was a victim. -[ Frédéric ] The immigration
and refugee board didn’t find sufficient
compassionate grounds in support of Ms Bing’s appeal. In his decision, board member
Constantino says she “was not a naive and
innocent victim but a willing participant.” “her only regret,” he says,
“is getting caught and the resulting
repercussions.” Her appeal is dismissed. So far, nearly 1,100 of sunny
Wang’s clients face removal from Canada or have
already left the country. Wang is a big catch for the
Canada Border and Services Agency but more unregistered
consultants are still operating under the radar both
in Canada and abroad. CBSA takes great pains to
investigate and recommend for prosecution any cases that are
similar in nature or involve any kind of border related crime. They are not going after the
small fraudulent transactions that are done in immigration,
they are just looking at big fish. -[ Frédéric ] Dory Jade heads
CAPIC, the association representing immigration
consultants. Less than four or five cases
were brought to court in the last few years. The number of investigations
opened is in the range of 150,
I think it’s 148. So, there is not enough
resources to go after those people. -[ Frédéric ] There is a
regulatory body overseeing immigration consultants in
Canada but it can only take action against
its own members, those that are
duly registered. Jade believes Ottawa should
grant that council powers to also go after those
that are not registered. We learn that Sunny Wang has
been released on parole after serving two
years in prison. So we stop at his residence
to see if he’s home. Nobody’s there. But the next time we
show up, an SUV pulls out. Mr Wang, I’m Frédéric Zalac
from Radio-Canada television. We’d like to ask you a few
questions about New Can. -[ Frédéric ] Shortly after as
we were shooting images of his house from the
street, Wang comes back and calls the RCMP to complain. He hands us his cell phone with
a puzzled police officer at the other end. Do you know who Mr Wang is? He was sentenced to seven years
in jail for immigration fraud. One of the biggest immigration
fraud in the history of Canada. A story on him, yes. -[ Frédéric ] The officer sees
no reason to intervene as we were filming from
a public street. Okay, thank you, I understand.
Thank you very much. Mr Wang, we just want to ask
you questions about the New Can case. I don’t want to. Those people are facing
deportation because of what you did. You need to book an
appointment with my parole officer
and the lawyer. I’m not sure I can
answer your question now. -When we’ve got a guy like Sunny
Wang who can set up a business whose very model was to satisfy
people breaking these rules, then you know
you’ve got a problem. He made over 10 million dollars
as a result of this scheme, had thousands of
clients, you know. The lesson is that there’s
a big problem with millionaire migration. [ ♪♪ ]

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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  1. I come from an immigrant background. What I noticed qith Canadians is that they are way too soft and nice. The immigrants come here, take advantage of the system to get rich, especially the Chinese, their culture only values money. Why is it that I worry for the White Canadians more then they do for themself. You can fix these problems without being a biggot or being angry at the common people. Fix it systematically

  2. I dont get it why get a resident or citizenship visa if you don't want to live there? Are they after canadian benefits? But they don't have canadian jobs so what kind of benefits do they get out of this? A canadian visa is not even big deal. If they are transferring their money to Canada then that's money laundering but Canada benefits from it.

  3. I'm shocked! Any review of immigration makes you a racist bigot! W5 is a racist bigot! Dont they know that in Canada this is all hate speech now! Shame on them.

  4. This is why the President claimed to Canadians chagrin that Canada is a security risk. One or more suitcase bombs could easily be slipped in to the United States. Canucks are tough on the ice, but ridiculously soft off it.

  5. After 7 year prison he is 9.1 million richer and free. You wont be able to work hard and get 9.1 mil your whole life

  6. The biggest corruption case in Canada, ended with about 5 people serving less than 4 years in prison each. They got millions and their fraud cost Canadians billions of dollars. I am talking about the CUSM-SNC Lavalin fraud in Montreal. If this is the kind of sentence you get in Canada for those crimes, well we are literally saying to the honest people here, go and do crime as well!

  7. NEVER trust the Chinese. In China there's a saying, if I tell you the truth, I'm stupid. If you believe what I'm telling you, you're stupid.

  8. This is what Trudope let's in. He loves other crooks as his friends all are too. Imagine the cost of these investigations. That's why certain people's should not be let in Canada. Many are great assets. Some are huge negative loss leaders

  9. These leech reporters. That's messed up they just doxed his house Now that illegal. They should find out where the reporter lives and film him outside his house.

  10. It is so funny, Chines claims that China is no less powerful than Western countries but will try to immigrate to these countries by hook or crook. If your country is so powerful and great then why don't stay back ?

  11. Sunny Wang is a typical example of the canadian immigration policy has been failed for decades. Importing such a personal into Canada and becomes a scam artist, abusing and gaming the legal systems. Shame on the loose immigration policies.

  12. the only scams exist in this world…are the west ….this guy nothing compere to the withe scamers
    they are all over scaming countries….i suggest zip better.

  13. How sad that the system can be cheated so easily. While good people are often denied immigration rights.

  14. None of Wang's clients are victims. They're all compliant. They know exactly what they were paying him to do.
    Every single client of his should be deported and restricted from applying for citizenship again.
    And Wang should be jailed for longer and asked to pay a heavier fine. 900k is nothing to him. In the video, it even said Wang earned 10 mil from doing this. This is disgusting. You can basically do anything if you have the money.

  15. 2 years and free to roam around ? wow, crime does pay, unless all assets of sunny wang is confiscated in favor of the state because if not after 7 years he would still enjoy his millions which is the proceeds from crime, he should be deported after serving his sentence

  16. They allow Chinese easily and have high regulations and mostly reject tourist visas of small island countries

  17. I am actually shocked by people in the comment here. All talked like you knew a lot of things of immigration and citizenship. Loll but many don’t even know the first thing, the difference between permanent residence and citizenship. Immigration jail is referred to PR required living time in Canada. PR don’t have a Canadian passport and only citizens can have it. Once you are a Canadian citizen, you don’t need to live in Canada for a required time. China does not allow dual citizenship and that is why they try to scam the system to make up the living time in Canada.

  18. if you fly from Beijing to Vancouver, the whole airplane is Chinese passengers who can't speak English at all like at all, tragically they hold Canadian passports. Most Filipinos also do immigration fraud, they sponsor family member regardless competence with LMIA to work together in a company (nepotism)

  19. the irish government needs to start there own investigation we have are mr wongs also but in government positions

  20. Canadian government always compassionate even with the criminals, mybe he doesn’t kill anyone but come on 10M fraud money, and he’s been in prison for 2yrs???

  21. Chinese shouldn't be trusted! They will grab your land if you would just sit there and watch and do nothing! Just look at what they're doing in the disputed islands(SPRATLYS), they bully those countries that have claims on the said islands! Most Chinese are nasty and uneducated so don't let them overthrown you from your own country and trash it for their own benefits!

  22. And these people are not shipped back to China because??? …There are literally millions of illegals in Canada overpopulating and creating chaos of a once beautiful country. They need to be rounded up and deported as that will be the only deterrent.

  23. I spent almost 10 years in Canada and finally got my permanent resident…1.5 years in high school, 5 years in university, working as part-time 1 year, and working as full time for 2 years…I can say that it's very hard for people like us to get the pr… some of my friends are still not eligible to apply because they are sales people…

  24. Living at the moment with nothing.Born citizen 60 yrs old and i can't even get a ride into town.Wish i could be an immigrant.🙃❌™

  25. And ya soooooo,,,, we invite MORE… Even though they sabotage our housing market, and have bad intentions towards our people… It's NOT HARD, to figure out which one's are lying, And which one's are legitimately seeking a better life, no other bad intentions. .. The one's that have bad intentions, aren't shy about it.. They know we're generally good people.. Their here to take advantage of our freedoms, whilst violating our laws and regulations. Because we don't enforce consequences when there's obvious bad business being conducted. . Buying up as many properties as they can get funding for, and charge outrageous rent, so we pay it off.. Not paying workers properly. Investing in way too many properties, so they can't keep up with it, & refusing to maintain .. It's NOT HARD TO SPOT A FRAUD VS. A LEGITIMATE IMMIGRANT /REFUGEE.. Generally the frauds are never thankful. Always wanting more/Something for nothing, not shy about dumping their mess on your head ( refusing to pay workers ) Everyone that won't work for free (for the "privilege" of renting an overpriced unit), is lazy.. Generally scheme and lie, twist reality, And bully vulnerable people's into working for free.. It's becoming more and more common. Where's our government to regulate this crap?

  26. Our Grandkids won't be able to afford a 1bdrm apt for a family of 5, if we continue to ignore this

  27. It pains me to see so many people–not just in Chinese Canadian community, but throughout all ethnicities and demographics–take Canadian citizenship for granted. Being a Canadian citizen, having the right to exercise responsibilities that come with this citizenship, are a privilege. I look forward to the system becoming better at recognizing applicants who understand and want to contribute rather than to leech off and take advantage.

  28. If he could have prolonged his permanent Canadian residency without living in Canada – he woulndn't have had to do a fraud. Even make them pay a fine if they are not living in Canada – good inflow of budget money.

  29. Stupid laws help criminals to make lots of money. And, people see no good reason to comply with irrational laws like this, so they find ways around them.
    If you're granted permanent residency, why do you have to keep proving residency?
    What next? Fining citzens for going on holiday for too long and hence not paying enough into the Canadian Economy? If so, the CEO's of many major Canadian businesses will be hung out to dry. So, I suppose that's a stupid law which won't be brought in, as it would hurt the wrong people.

  30. People take advantages of soft canadian law and rules… Bcoz canada is a multi cultural and humnity permote country….

  31. Its like i say, fk immigrants they're all star stuck seeing so much money around them and they want it. They'll take it anyway they can. Expats are different bcos they move wealth with them. They are set up before absconding their home. Have business's to set up legally upon arriving. Like brits moving to spain getting chewed up and spat out. Then going back to uk broke. Thats the difference between immigrant and expat. God gave you a place, use it.

  32. Police do boost the numbers though. They said my step dad had 1000's in cannabis once. He barly had 6ozs hash even. Just a little over personal in our opinion. A king pin in theirs the blighters.

  33. Visited Vancouver last summer, at the border; Officer asked the Canadian passport holder where he was; he said " no English"; he asked French; same no French. I thought it is weird.

  34. the truth is that Canadians are so much relaxed with their immigration laws. Well i wanna move to Canada legally. i just hope they are gonna give me the chance!

  35. They deported me from that country after 10 years living there peacefully and they get cheated by these guys lol

  36. lol..People like us have to first study in our home countries till a graduation then have to study in canada by spending 30-40thousand CAD,then clear language exams,get some year of Canadian work experience then Immigration officer can decide if we are eligible for canadian PR.

  37. I think she knows better because every country has law in terms of immigration. I don't think she is stupid or should I say naive enough to put such serious and important thing on someone else's hands. He was not powerful enough to control all those Chinese, seriously, the compliance has its limits.

  38. I like too live in canada 🇨🇦 but I don’t have papers can same one help me with a visa or married with a Canada citizen if some one is interested can contact me and make a deal 🤝 with me my WhatsApp numer is +4917673869851

  39. Remember living in Sweden from 1994 to 2001. Met a lot of Bosnian refugees who had the good fortune to make it to Sweden and was talking to them one night about the process of being chosen. They told me not to believe everything you hear about humanitarian ideals involved in the process. They and many others arrived in Sweden after paying around 50 thousand US dollars per family under the table to UN personnel to facilitate their refugee claims. Hopefully, this comment is not disabled by CBC apparatchiks.

  40. Cut off their passwaters. Chinese have small passwatedrs. They do big swindles though. They do not contribute to the country's development. They bleed their hosts for their own advancement.

  41. This pisses me off to think how my aunties and uncles fought hard to be Canadian, filled out forms, for these richy rich illegals. I'm Chinese, my mom and dad had to study for years at the university, learn english for years.

  42. Interesting because the Chinese call white people "GUILOS" (Ghosts)!
    Too many Chinese in Canada because the Liberals will do nothing to stop this!

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