An unlicensed immigration consultant appeared in court in Vancouver, Canada last week in an immigration fraud case which the prosecution described as “beyond any of the precedents”. Over a thousand Chinese immigrants who were clients of the consultant are now facing the possibility of having their Canadian nationality or residency revoked.

Wang Xun, 46, pleaded guilty to eight charges relating to the fraudulent immigration business – six counts under the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and two counts of failing to report taxable income, Richmond News reported. Wang was accused of producing false documents for over a thousand clients between 2006 and 2013, charging up to CAD$10 million for the services, with the defendant pocketing up to CAD$2.7 million for himself.

Canadian Passport. Photo: Alan Levine via Flickr.

Wang’s clients, most of whom are Chinese nationals, could face having their Canadian nationality or permanent residency status revoked. Bruce Harper, Federal Crown counsel, said that these clients were not refugees, but well-off foreign nationals who got into Canada through fraudulent means.

Harper argued that Wang, who has been in custody since June, should be sentenced to seven and a half years in prison while his defence counsel sought a sentence of two and a half years. The decision on his sentence will be made next month.

Wang was born in Shanghai and holds a degree in engineering. A married father with two teenage boys, he emigrated to Canada in 1997 and worked in various industries, including insurance and then immigration services.

Under new rules implemented by the Canadian government that aim to speed up the immigration process, those who make false representations on their applications could be deported by the government, Taiwanese media Liberty Times Net reported.

According to the Los Angeles Times, 16 percent of Greater Vancouver’s 2.5 million population, and 28 percent of the population of the city proper, are ethnically Chinese.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.