Toronto police have arrested a woman in connection with their investigation of an immigration scam that allegedly defrauded hundreds of foreign applicants of more than $1.5 million.
Police said they began their investigation on GoWest Jobs International last October. GoWest, located near Keele Street and Finch Avenue West, claims to be a recruiting agency that deals with immigrant workers.
The suspect was “selling hope,” Det. Const. Erwin Mendoza told CTV Toronto on Thursday.
“Someone was proposing that, ‘Hey, if you go through me, I can get you to someplace to where you want to be or someplace better.”
Go West allegedly recruited applicants in foreign countries for jobs in Canada, requesting payment for documents, references and employment contracts, which would then be provided to the applicants.
But, police said, because the documents were fakes, the applicants would be denied entry to Canada. The applicants would also be banned from re-applying to enter Canada for two years.
Police allege that GoWest made more than $1.5 million in fees from over 500 applicants coming from six different countries. Many of the foreign applicants are of Filipino descent, police said.
One of the victims, 46-year-old personal support worker Agnes Aquino, claims her family in the Philippines gave more than $24,000 to GoWest.