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Wealthy Somalis : Bogus IDs let 'em fit right in Canada


The RCMP have smashed a Toronto-based ring that provided wealthy Somalis with fake identities after schooling them on everyday life in Canada's largest city.

Const. Chris O'Keefe said the scam surfaced after a Toronto man was arrested last week at Pearson airport while boarding a flight for Somalia via the U.S. O'Keefe said U.S. Customs officers found two identity kits with fake Canadian passports, social insurance and citizenship cards made out for two Somali men, aged 24 and 27.


The Mounties said forgers charged about $16,000 each for the packages, which helped the immigrants appear to be Canadian citizens.

"These people would have the money and means to pay to come here," O'Keefe said. "The rate sometimes includes an escort who travels with them."

Police suspect the identity kits are being used by the children of wealthy Somalis to come here to study.

Most other Somalis arriving in Canada simply claim refugee status.

O'Keefe said officers also seized two "info kits," featuring information about Toronto.

"They have schools over there to coach people on what to say if questioned," he said.

Abdi Hasan Galan, 45, has been charged with possession of forged documents. He was released on bail.



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