Industry Reports

GPEB Inspector Allegedly Executed Elaborate Fraud Plan at Hastings Racecourse

Today marks exactly one week since the unexpected raid at Hastings Racecourse in Vancouver and over the past few days, more information about their nature has been disclosed. Now it is clear that a Gambling Policy and Enforcement Branch inspector has allegedly conducted a crime involving the forging of foreign workers’ licenses.

An Inland Enforcement Officer with the Canada Border Services Agency revealed more about the allegations and the discoveries as of now. Last Monday saw an unexpected raid conducted by the Canada Border Services Agency and the provincial Gambling Policy and Enforcement Branch, ultimately taking away some 26 foreign workers.

All of them are employed by the horse owners and they have no direct link to Great Canadian Gaming, or the racetrack management, as it has been clarified. At first, the reason for their arrest was not disclosed and their fellow coworkers were distressed to see the dramatic arrests.

Mexican Workers Fraud Details

Now more information has been publicly issued in relation to the raid. As an Inland Enforcement Officer with the Canada Border Services Agency confirmed, the inspector was located at Hastings Racecourse. 

This made the inspector’s work easier, as they took care of the foreign workers hired as grooms on the premises of the racetrack. What actually facilitated the fraud was the language of the licenses. In them, the Mexican workers were listed as horse owners, since this enables the fraud.

As a result of the occupation misrepresentation, the individuals are subjected to different mandatory requirements. Once this initial step was finished on site, their applications for permits were redirected to Victoria’s registration office of the gambling enforcement branch. This is where further document evaluation took place, only to have them return to Vancouver after that.

The background check is completed and upon finishing it, the Mexican grooms receive fictitious horse owner’s status that is later on changed to the actual occupation of the workers. In its sense, this is an efficient way for work permits to be excluded from the picture whatsoever.

CBSA Probe Continues

In addition to the job occupation, documents forging also included the use of other people’s photos. The timing of this raid was also good, as it coincided with the said inspector’s planned days off. The border service agency has launched an investigation against the inspector which revealed these details and probably many more.

For the time being, while the probe is still in progress, information issued publicly would probably be scarce. Around 30 grooms at Hastings Racecourse have been linked to the fraud, meaning that they have been involved in the fraud without even realizing it. One of them, Brandon Carrion Gomez, paid about CA$1,000 for the mandatory license, a colossal sum for a document that usually costs about CA$40.

Another groom reported paying some CA$700 for the paperwork that guaranteed him day-to-day employment at Hastings Racetrack’s backstretch. The Canada Border Service Agency has the power to conduct raids and launch an investigation if there is suspicion of a breach of the Customs Act or the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Other workers on site cover more ground now that some of the arrested individuals would have to return to their homeland.