The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that it has laid charges against six people connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents.
The investigation was titled Project Husky and took place over five years, beginning in 2015, when Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada officials identified “suspicious documents” submitted as part of permanent residency applications.
The documents looked like nomination certificates from the Yukon government issued under the Yukon Business Nominee Program, but turned out to be fakes.
The documents were flagged as suspicious and confirmed as false by the Yukon government before the applications were processed. None of the applications resulted in granting of permanent resident status.
On March 12, 2019, a search warrant was executed in the offices of the Yukon Department of Economic Development for files and electronics. CBSA confirmed the residence of a government employee was also searched.
Ian David Young, 59, was employed as a senior economic advisor in the department. He now faces charges for his alleged role in the scheme and a Canada-wide search warrant has been issued for him.
“The CBSA does not believe that any other Government of Yukon employees were involved in this alleged immigration fraud scheme,” said CBSA spokesperson Luke Reimer.
At the time the warrant was originally executed, Yukon Justice Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee said she was not privy to the nature or subject of the investigation. In a statement in the legislature on Nov. 26, Economic Development Minister Ranj Pillai confirmed that Young is no longer an employee of the government.
“My concern really was … hearing about this, just making sure that our processes in our departments are solid,” Pillai said.
He said in 2017 more oversight and a secure online database were added to the immigration process.
Asked if members of the department who worked with Young were surprised by the announcement, Pillai said he couldn’t speak for them.
“This process started a while ago. There was a particular day where Canadian Border Services were on site and I think the employees probably had a sense from there about what’s gone on but I can’t speak to how they feel about it,” he said. “First of all this process has just started, there is no conclusion on it, but as it unfolds I’m sure there will be emotion from people.”
Four other people who live in the lower mainland of British Columbia are facing charges for violations in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Criminal Code committed between July 2013 and September 2016.
The charges have been laid against four Richmond, B.C., residents, including Tzu Chun Joyce Chang, 49, Qiong Joan Gu, 66, Aillison Shaunt Liu (also known as Allison Shaunt Liu), 31 and Shouzhi Stanley Guo, 38.
Anyone with information on Young’s whereabouts is encouraged to call the CBSA’s anonymous Border Watch Line by dialing 1-888-502-9060.
None of the charges have been proven in court. They are scheduled to appear in Richmond Provincial Court on December 23, 2020.
Contact Haley Ritchie at firstname.lastname@example.org