Crooked Chilean officials selling travel documents, Refugee Board says
By Tom Godfrey ,Toronto Sun
TORONTO - A Cuban refugee claimant who arrived in Canada with travel documents purchased from Chilean diplomats involved in a visa-selling ring in Havana has had claim tossed out.
The man, who lives in Toronto, has not been identified by an Immigration and
Refugee Board because he claims to be fleeing persecution.
“Corrupt officers in the Chilean embassy in Cuba were selling visas” to people wishing to leave Cuba for Chile, a member of the Refugee Protection Division said in a decision last month.
“The (Chilean) authorities started searching for Cuban citizens who got into (Chile) using illegal visas.”
A number of Cubans who travelled to Chile with the bogus documents were caught. As a result, they were barred from obtaining jobs, official identification and medical assistance.
“The claimant was afraid this would happen to him so he applied for a
Canadian visitor’s visa,” the board member said.
When he arrived at Pearson, the man filed a claim for refugee status and became eligible for welfare, some medical and other benefits.
The board member did not disclose how much the man paid for the document, how many were sold to Cubans to travel abroad or if any Chilean diplomats were arrested due to the scandal.
The man can still appeal the board’s decision to deny his refugee claim.
Posted by CIReport.ca
on May 23, 2012 | 1 comment