Anatomy of a scam: how rich Chinese gamed Canadian immigration | This Week In AsiaSeptember 1, 2018
When unlicensed immigration consultant Xun “Sunny” Wang was jailed in 2015 for masterminding the biggest immigration fraud in Canadian history, it wasn’t just Wang who would end up paying the price.
Hundreds of his Chinese clients were caught up in the scandal when their passports were seized in raids on Wang’s home and offices.
An investigation by the South China Morning Post has revealed some of the implausible, deceptive and downright bizarre excuses offered by Wang’s clients to explain their participation in the scheme and ward off attempts to strip them of Canadian residency.
Special report: Canadian immigration fraud saw 860 rich Chinese blacklisted
Wang faked the presence of his wealthy clients in Canada, when they were actually living in China, so that they could maintain Canadian permanent residency and qualify for citizenship. He was sentenced to seven years’ jail, but was paroled late last year.
At least 860 clients of Wang’s Vancouver-based firms, New Can Consultants and Wellong International Investments, have either lost immigration status – resulting in expulsion and five-year bans from entering Canada – or been reported for inadmissibility.
These case studies are drawn from dozens examined by the Post as part of its investigation into Wang’s fraud. The full story of the scandal – and the years of official inaction that led up to it – is reported here.
Three years of mourning
Xi Wen Dai, 61, described himself as a victim of Sunny Wang, but immigration and refugee board panellist George Pemberton said in an April 2017 ruling that upheld Xi’s exclusion from Canada for five years, that “co-conspirator is a more apt description”.
After Xi’s passport was seized in 2012, Wang gave Xi’s adult son a declaration stating: “Xiwen Dai’s old passport was indeed lost … it was absolutely not used for any other purposes. I will be held fully accountable if anything illegal or against regulations involving this passport occurs.”
Pemberton was unconvinced, saying that since Xi claimed no foreknowledge of Wang’s illicit activity, “the letter makes no sense”.
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Xi claimed that his lengthy absences from Canada were due to a Chinese custom requiring him to mourn his mother’s death in her home village for three years. Pemberton was incredulous. “His own vague testimony is not sufficient to satisfy me that such a cultural obligation exists,” he said in his ruling.
The investor migrant spent 33 days in Canada in the five years preceding the ruling. Xi’s wife, two sons and six grandchildren are all Canadian citizens; he owns five properties in Canada, where some still live.
Low-income worker with C$10m in assets
Xiao Qing Li, 49, was no “victim”, according to IRB panellist Sterling Sunley, as he upheld an exclusion order in June 2017.
Her ‘employment’, as arranged by New Can/Wellong, was entirely a fiction