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IRCC accused of fraud, forgery and human right violations

Posted on : Thu, Jul 05 2018

The immigration council that oversees thousands of immigration consultants in Canada is facing serious and legal allegations from its own members. The serious allegations have been charged on Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) for fraud, forgery and human right violations by Muhammad Watto.

Watto is a long-time critic of the council has filed a notice of application under the Not-for-profit Corporation Act asking Ontario Superior court for formal investigation into IRCC.

Watto, a consultant for 12 years says, “I have observed myself some major discrepancies and some major alleged fraudulent activities concerning, not only the way they were handling public complaints, but also the way they were handling the funds.”

The following allegations are filed in the court against IRCC:

  1. The directors and officers of the council are working against the charter, mandate and articles of the corporation and for their own self-interest.
  2. Altering and forgery of financial statements.
  3. Multiple counts of accounting fraud. 
  4. Failure to secure, or destruction of, financial records.
  5. Open violations of human rights,

The application notice says that RCMP is reviewing information about the council’s activities.

However, the allegations are yet to be proved in court and the council denies anything done wrong. The allegations detailed are yet to be released.

The regulatory council was introduced in 2011 that sets the rules of how immigration consultants conduct themselves, providing education, licensing and discipline. It protects the applicants who want to come to Canada, overseeing more than 4,000 consultants. It is a 14 member board of directors.

If the council is not running smoothly, the immigrants that will likely to get suffer will be those who take help of the immigration consultancy to receive Canada PR.

Also, the council recently fired its current president, Stephen Ashworth, hired a year age. He was the fifth president of IRCC created by the previous Conservative Government to replace a prior body which was knotted in different problems.

Cindy Beverly, ICCRC director of communications, said Ashworth was relieved of his duties because "the board has a different alignment."  

Recommendation that council must be disbanded

The allegations against IRCC are not for the first time. Last year in June, a parliamentary committee recommended that the government get rid of the council and step in to regulate consultants directly after hearing of problems facing the regulator from within.

Supporting this recommendation, Watto said, "We want government to look into this and take over,"

A written response is sent by IRCC to CBC’S request for an interview about Watto’s allegations.

"The ICCRC is committed to good governance and financial probity. The ICCRC rejects Mr.Watto's unsubstantiated allegations of misconduct," It reads in part.

Watto is also facing potential discrepancy and revocation of his license.

"I have not done anything wrong," said Watto, who characterized the filing of a complaint against him as an attempt to intimidate him. He said the same thing has happened to other members who asked questions about the council's transparency and accountability. Watto said the accusations against him are without merit. 

The department of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship says that it is aware of the court action of recent dismissal of Ashworth

In a written statement it said "the ICCRC is the regulator of immigration consultants and is a self-governing organization that has an arm's-length relationship with the department."

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