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CBSA officer continues testimony during second day of Sherwood Motel immigration fraud trial


CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - A trial for two siblings facing immigration fraud charges continued to hear evidence about provincial nominee program applicants who listed the accused’s motel as their address.

Ping Zhong and her brother, Yi Zhong, appeared before Chief Judge Nancy Orr in provincial court Wednesday for the second day of their trial.

Yi Zhong is facing four counts, Ping Zhong is facing two and the siblings are charged jointly with one count of counselling, aiding and abetting misrepresentation under the Immigration and Refugee Act.

During the second day of the trial, Canada Border Services Agency investigator Lana Hicks continued her testimony, reading immigration documents and other evidence found during her investigation.

Hicks said a document found in a unit at the Sherwood Motel and later translated into English referred to a Miss Zhong and asked her to mail “maple leaf cards” to one applicant.

That document also asked to have a language deposit put into a bank account.

“I’ve put you to a lot of trouble and thank you very much indeed,” the document said.

Ping Zhong and Yi Zhong are joint owners of the motel.

Applicants under the provincial nominee program paid a $25,000 good faith deposit to show their intention to stay in the province and a $20,000 language deposit.

The applicants whose records Hicks read during her testimony Wednesday all defaulted on their good faith deposits by not providing proof they resided in P.E.I.

Hicks also went through immigration documents related to Yi Zhong, including records that he paid good faith and language deposits.

Ping Zhong was listed as his representative on some documents, and she sent emails on his behalf to the P.E.I. government.

Yi Zhong’s deposits were later returned after he provided the necessary documentation to the province.

The Crown finished questioning Hicks Wednesday afternoon, and the defence started its cross-examination.

A different witness is expected to take the stand for the federal Crown when the trial resumes this morning. The cross-examination of Hicks will continue at a later date.

ryan.ross@theguardian.pe.ca
Twitter.com/ryanrross  

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