Interpreter charged in connection with fraud investigation: Toronto police

Toronto Police Superintendent Steve Watts of the Organized Crime Enforcement unit, listens during a press conference announcing new gun control laws, in Toronto on August 5, 2022. The Toronto Police Services Board is set to meet today to decide whether to approve a nearly $50-million funding increase for the city's police force, which would see the addition of 200 officers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston. CLB

A 37-year-old man from Durham Region has been charged in connection with a fraud investigation in Toronto, police say.

Toronto police said between April 2021 and December 2022, an accredited translator/interpreter contracted by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) allegedly defrauded the IRB and incoming refugee and immigrant claimants, by “allowing and facilitating” unidentified and unauthorized persons to appear on his behalf to provide interpretation and translation services for more than 130 hearings.

Officers said the imposters allegedly appeared to remote hearings online, using the accused’s names and accreditations.

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Police said the accused allegedly received payment for the services provided by the imposters.

Officers said 37-year-old Gerard Byamungu from Durham Region was arrested and has been charged with fraud/breach of trust by an official, fraud not exceeding $5,000, fraud exceeding $5,000, and possession of property or thing obtained by crime over $5,000.

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Police said he appeared in court on Tuesday.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.

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