Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)

UPDATED: Couple faces 69 charges related to CBSA Surrey immigration fraud investigation

A couple who were directors of Can-Asia Immigration Consulting to make first appearance in Surrey provincial court on Tuesday

A couple who were directors of Can-Asia Immigration Consulting will make a first appearance in Surrey provincial court on Tuesday, Oct. 13, on 69 charges related to immigration fraud.

The accused are Rupinder Singh Batth (54 counts) and Navdeep Kaur Batth (15 counts), both of Langley. Both are 51 years old. Charges include misrepresenting facts that can induce an error, counselling or attempting to counsel misrepresentation and communicating false information concerning someone’s immigration.

The offences are alleged to have occurred between October 2014 and November 18.

Three residents of Surrey, Vancouver and Oliver have also been charged.

The Canada Border Services Agency raided the Can-Asia office, which is now occupied by a different company, at Surrey’s Payal Business Centre in 2017.

The Now-Leader tried the company’s phone number on Wednesday and got a “voice-mail service has not been initialized” message. Shortly after, a former employee who identified herself as Ritu Anand told the Now-Leader she used to work there “when the company was open” but it doesn’t operate there any more.

“They’ve closed their business since last year,” she said. “This is just a number to let the clients know that the office is closed.”

“I’m sorry, I don’t want to comment,” she said in reference to the case before the court.

According to a 2011 report in the Asian Pacific Post, Rupinder Singh Batth moved to Canada in 1991 and established Can-Asia Immigration Consultancy Services Inc. in 1997.

READ ALSO: Delta man charged relating to fraudulent refugee claims

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A CBC investigation revealed this week that a recently unsealed 110-page Information to Obtain document, filed by a CBSA officer, “describes in stunning detail” an alleged immigration fraud network implicating other consultants, 144 foreign nationals and 29 businesses – none of which claims have been proven in court.

The document, CBC reported, alleges fraud related to “different schemes to help foreign nationals obtain temporary work permits and permanent residency, as well as getting employers to ‘pad’ applications to hire temporary foreign workers.”

Here is the breakdown of the charges:

Rupinder “Ron” Singh Batth is charged with five counts (counselling misrepresentation) under Section 126 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, 48 counts of misrepresentation under Section 127(a) and one count of misrepresentation under Section 127(b) of the IRPA.

Navdeep Kaur Batth is charged with 15 counts (counselling misrepresentation) under Section 126 of the IRPA.

Also charged is Gurtaj Singh Grewal, 52, of Surrey. Grewal, owner and director of Agiforce Security Ltd., is charged with 10 counts (counselling misrepresentation) under Section 126 of the IRPA and is to appear in Surrey provincial court on Oct. 15.

Vancouver resident Ved Parkash Kaler, 48, owner and director of VK Delivery & Moving Services Ltd. is charged with six counts (counselling misrepresentation) under Section 126 of the IRPA and is to appear in New Westminster provincial court on Oct. 19.

Oliver resident Randhir “Randy” Singh Toor, 56, owner and director of Desert Hills Estate Winery Inc. and Toor Vineyards is to appear in Penticton provincial court, charged with 18 counts (counselling misrepresentation) under Section 126 of the IRPA and 11 Criminal Code offenses including five counts of unauthorized possession of a firearm (Section 91(1)), five counts of unauthorized possession of a firearm (Section 92(1)), and one count of unauthorized possession of a prohibited device.

Judith Gadbois-St-Cyr, a spokesman with CBSA in Ottawa, told the Now-Leader on Thursday that the agency is “not in a position to provide details while the cases are before court. What is significant is that the accused allegedly committed offences and have now been charged accordingly.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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