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Canada: Indian's arrest unearths scam

Funeral homes in Canada issue fake burial letters that help Indians known to the 'deceased', to immigrate.

india Updated: Aug 29, 2006 18:37 IST

The arrest of an Indian citizen in Vancouver airport last month, has brought to light an immigration scam that has been going on in that city and is now happening in Toronto as well.

Some funeral homes in Canada are issuing fake letters of burial that enables people known to the 'deceased' overseas, to come to Canada.

The scam came to light when the arrested Indian could not remember the name of the 'sister' for whose funeral he had come to Canada. 

He had with him a letter bearing the forged signature of Indo-Canadian MP, Sukh Dhaliwal.

The fake letters allow the would-be immigrants to obtain emergency travel documents. They simply have to show up at the airport, pretend to be bereaved, and they are in Canada.

"I was first contacted by an immigration officer at Vancouver International Airport when a man tried to get into the country using a phoney letter with my signature on it," Sukh Dhaliwal said.

He added that the letter had been cut and pasted on a home computer using an old legitimate letter.

The man is facing deportation charges for carrying a letter with a fake signature of an MP. The letter reportedly outlined the man's relationship with the 'deceased' individual as well as the time and place of funeral services.

Immigration and other law enforcing agencies in Canada fear the practice may become widespread in the Toronto area too as there is a large Asian population here.