Vancouver, British Columbia, December 2, 2011 – The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced today that JM Food Services Ltd. and Fine Edge Enterprise Ltd., both doing business as Freshslice Pizza, jointly pled guilty to four counts of employing a foreign national without authorization, an offence under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. On November 23 in Vancouver Provincial Court, they were ordered to pay a fine of $8,000 per each illegally employed individual, for a total of $32,000.
In addition to these fines, a Freshslice franchise owner, Bahman Afshari, pled guilty to three counts of employing a foreign national without authorization. He was sentenced in April 2011 to a fine of $12,000 ($4,000 per count), one year of probation and 25 hours of community service.
"The enforcement of these cases is critical to maintaining the integrity of our laws," said Yvette‑Monique Gray, Director of the CBSA Pacific Region Enforcement Division. "These regulations are in place to ensure fairness to Canadian citizens and to those who abide by Canada's employment laws, and we are proud of the Criminal Investigations Division's work in this case."
The investigations began on March 17, 2009, when the CBSA received information that specific downtown Freshslice locations were employing illegal workers. A subsequent search warrant at the head office of Freshslice Pizza in Vancouver revealed documents relating to the unlawful employment of foreign nationals at the locations owned by Mr. Afshari. The search warrant also produced the evidence that resulted in the charges and subsequent corporate pleas by JM Food Services Ltd. and Fine Edge Enterprise Ltd.
The CBSA is responsible for the enforcement of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and conducts investigations when there is evidence or information of possible violations of the Act. This covers not only criminality, but persons who do not comply with terms and conditions imposed if they are foreign workers, students or visitors.
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