Alberta’s first human trafficking conviction

Alberta company, Kihew Energy Services Ltd. (Kihew), pleaded guilty to running a criminal organization that illegally recruited human trafficking victims from Poland and the Ukraine, contrary to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act  (IRPA).

Kihew—owned by a Ukrainian Orthodox priest, his wife and business partner—was fined $215,000 after RCMP investigations revealed that the company had been conducting a scam, in collaboration with a former staff at Lakeland College, which brought 60 foreign workers into Canada using false student visas.

Instead of attending classes at the College, the skilled workers were sub-contracted out by Kihew to other Alberta businesses.  According to the Agreed Statement of Facts, dated on September 27, 2012, Kihew charged the businesses $24 per hour for the services of each foreign worker including overtime, but only paid the workers between $10 and $12 per hour.

In less than two years, the company allegedly made over $1 million from the scheme.

This is Alberta’s first convictions under section 117 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

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