Two prominent Okanagan businessmen have been charged in connection with a large immigration fraud network.
Penticton property developer and rental manager Surinder ‘Paul’ Singla of Singla Brothers Holdings Ltd. is facing 10 charges of counselling or attempting to counsel misrepresentation under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. The 10 charges date from 2015 to 2017. Singla will make his first appearance in Penticton Provincial Court on Oct. 21.
Singla Brothers Holding is a development, housing rental and excavating business in Penticton. The company website indicates they own the Trout Creek Fruit Stand in Summerland as well.
Oliver resident Randhir “Randy” Singh Toor, 56, owner and president of Desert Hills Estate Winery Inc. and Toor Vineyards, is charged with 18 counts of counselling misrepresentation under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Those charges date from 2015 to 2017.
Toor also faces criminal code offences including 10 counts of possession of a firearm without a license and one count of unauthorized possession of a non-firearm. His first court appearance is also Oct. 21 in Penticton Provincial Court.
A CBC investigation revealed this week that a recently unsealed 110-page Information to Obtain document, filed by a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer, describes an alleged immigration fraud network implicating other consultants, 144 foreign nationals and 29 businesses.
The document 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.”
More than 60 immigration fraud charges were laid against various people in the Lower Mainland. A couple from Langley who were directors of Can-Asia Immigration Consulting face 69 charges together.
None of these claims and/or charges have been proven in court.
In June 2018, the Singla family home on Heather Road in Penticton was raided by the CBSA. No charges were laid in that incident.
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