Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Brijesh Mishra Pleads Guilty in International Students Fraud Case in Canada; Sentenced to Three Years

Brijesh Mishra, an Indian immigration agent at the centre of a scam involving fake college admissions for Canadian visas, has been sentenced to three years in jail after pleading guilty to immigration offences in a Vancouver court, according to a media report.

Mishra, 37, was arrested following a Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) investigation that connected him to dozens of fraudulent acceptance letters for Canadian colleges and universities provided to prospective international students from India between 2016 and 2020.

Dressed in a red jumpsuit, Mishra appeared in a Vancouver courtroom on Wednesday and apologized for multiple Canadian immigration offences. He pleaded guilty to three charges under Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, including misrepresentation and communicating false information, CBC News reported. “I’m sorry,” he told the courtroom. “I cannot change the past, but I can make sure I do not do it again in the future.”

Mishra was arrested in Surrey, British Columbia, in June 2023. He had entered Canada on a tourist visa, which had expired by the time of his arrest.

Crown and defence lawyers issued a joint sentencing submission requesting three years in prison, which the judge accepted. Mishra’s time in custody since his 2023 arrest counts as time served, meaning he will serve an additional 19 months.

After serving his sentence in Canada, Mishra is expected to be deported to India, where he faces further criminal charges, including a human smuggling offence that carries a maximum penalty of death.

No victims or their family members were present in the courtroom. Federal Crown Prosecutor Molly Greene declined to comment on the case.

In an agreed statement of facts between the crown and the defence, Greene outlined a common pattern based on victim testimony. She said prospective students typically came from modest backgrounds in Punjab with the desire to study abroad in Canada and were referred to Mishra by family or friends.

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