Immigration consultant Richard Yalaoui faces charges of conspiracy and procuring feigned mariages

An investigation conducted by the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET) has led to charges being laid against Richard Yalaoui, an immigration consultant operating in the Montréal area, and six other individuals associated with him. These persons are being investigated as part of a major police operation dubbed Project C-DEVANCER, the initial phase of which was carried out on November 25, 2009, to disrupt a forgery and fraud network that specialized in forging documents and passports.

Richard Yalaoui, who acted as an immigration consultant not only in Montréal, but also in Algeria and Morocco, is scheduled to appear at the Montréal Court House today to face charges of conspiracy and procuring feigned mariages. It is alleged that Yalaoui advised his clients on how to circumvent Canadian immigration law, including by procuring feigned marriages.

Forgery

A second series of arrests also took place last May as part of this investigation. The second phase targeted a branch of the organization composed of a group of individuals that includes Jocelyn Lévesque, who is still wanted on a warrant. These individuals were linked to one of five forgery labs that produced false documents and credit cards on belhalf of the criminal organization.

All eight individuals identified in this phase of the investigation face a number of charges, including conspiracy to forge documents and credit cards, unlawful possession of credit card data, possession of equipment used to commit forgery, uttering false documents, fraud and conspiracy. The investigation established links between the members of this group and the illegal activity for which the other 33 persons involved in the organization at various levels have been accused. It was established that they engaged in fraudulent activity, more specifically committing identity theft in order to forge documents and credit cards. The cards were then distributed and used to purchase goods for resale. Between January and November, 2009, the losses generated by this fraudulent scheme have been estimated by police at several thousands of dollars on a weekly basis.

As a reminder, approximatly 400 police officers took part in the November 25, 2009, operation. Thirty-nine searches were carried out in businesses, residences, vehicles, and three day care centres located in Montréal. A total of five forgery labs were dismantled. One of the suspects identified in phase one of the investigation, Bali Meta, is still wanted by police. Since infrastructures enabling the production of false IDs and passports were discovered, the investigation was conducted by the INSET.

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