Four women, including two from Mississauga, have been charged in connection with an allegedly fraudulent immigration sponsorship scam targeting Middle Eastern victims, particularly ones of Afghan descent.
Peel police say that in July 2017, a victim told police that he or she paid large sums of money to the Afghan Refugee Relief (ARR) organization to assist in sponsoring family members trying to immigrate to Canada from Afghanistan.
Police allege that 61-year-old Mississauga woman, Sakia Mojadiddi, the head of the ARR, accepted money but never processed the paperwork through the Canada Border Services Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Police say that once the victims learned that their paperwork was never processed, the accused allegedly refused to reimburse the funds paid for the service.
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Police say 38 people have since contacted investigators in relation to the investigation.
According to police, alleged victims included individuals from the Middle East, Europe and North America. Eight victims were reportedly from the Region of Peel.
Police estimate that the total amount allegedly defrauded from the victims is approximately $780,000.
On Thursday, Feb. 8, investigators from the fraud bureau executed three search warrants at three separate residences–two in Peel and one in the City of Bradford.
Police have since arrested and charged Mojadiddi, 32-year-old Brampton woman Morassa Rizvi, 26-year-old Mississauga woman Dunya Mojadiddi and 36-year-old Bradford woman Mariam Qureshi.
The accused have been charged with defrauding the public, conspiracy to defraud the public and possession of the proceeds of crime.
All were released on a promise to appear.
They will appear in court on Monday, March 12.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact investigators with the Fraud Bureau at (905) 453-2121 ext. 3340.