Crime concerns among bogus refugee claimants: CBSA
By Daniel Proussalidis ,Parliamentary Bureau
First posted: Friday, August 31, 2012 03:49 PM EDT | Updated: Friday, August 31, 2012 08:08 PM EDT
OTTAWA – The Canada Border Services Agency admits it’s worried about “significant criminal activity” among Hungarian Roma – sometimes called Gypsies – who’ve made dubious refugee claims.
“The information provided to the criminal investigations division indicates that individuals believed to be from the Roma community, and involved in criminal activity, most commonly engage in skimming fraud and cheque fraud,” said a recent CBSA report seen by QMI Agency.
Skimming typically involves attaching special devices to bank machines or debit card terminals to collect data that can be used to produce fake credit and debit cards.
Cheque fraud consists of stealing cheques from small businesses, changing the details, then cashing them, costing the banking industry hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“While this activity has been reported for a number of years, it is worth noting that the recent incidents involve business cheques being stolen from the mail and deposited into the bank accounts of refugee claimants who have recently been returned to Hungary,” the report said.
The CBSA report also says Toronto police have warned there “is an indication that local gangs may be developing” among the mass arrivals of young Roma refugee claimants.
Since Canada lifted its visa requirement on Hungary in 2008, Roma refugee claimants have made the EU country Canada’s top source for refugee claims.
They made more than 4,400 claims just last year, which will almost all be rejected because Canadian authorities say the claimants aren’t fleeing persecution.
Despite its findings, the CBSA says its report is not “a depiction of all” Roma in Canada.