Wednesday 25 February 2009

Creepy people: Part VII

The world is full of people who are psychopathic in nature and who don’t care what they do to other people. This is the third part of a series on Creeps; the kind of people your mother told you to stay away from.

Former Brampton businessman, Kirpal Singh Mann spent $22,000, as part payment to obtain his Canadian citizenship after being in Canada more than 10 years but minutes after he sat down with officers of the Canada border services agency, he was in handcuffs. A computer check had turned up an outstanding warrant. He was taken to an immigration holding centre in Etobicoke and two days later, he was on a plane back to India. Mann was another victim of conmen preying on the Sikh community. The conmen are aided by corrupt immigration officials. The crooks charge up to $40,000, promising to produce Canadian citizenship. Their first contact with a con man is in a stall in a flea market. The would-be citizen is then told to meet an immigration consultant who works out of a coffee shop. Within days of the first meeting, documents that appear to be on citizenship and immigration Canada letterheads showing the status of the applicant are given to the victims. They go to the immigration offices where authorities are often tipped off by the conmen that an illegal is going to show up. The victim then gets detained and deported and the ‘consultant’ doesn't have to worry about the victim going after him for the money because he has been shipped home and the con men have disappeared and are working in other areas. Mann said he was assured by the consultant that a corrupt immigration officer would help him obtain landed-immigrant status for $40,000. He gave the man $22,000 in cash in three installments, took the consultant's word and waited. Quite frankly, Mann should have known better and he certainly doesn’t deserve our sympathy because he knew that if he was given citizenship, it was obtained under false pretenses.

A Newmarket Ontario man, Frank Basso, 47, pleaded guilty on October 19, 2006 to stealing his cancer-ridden 70-year-old mother's home and gaining $450,000 by mortgaging the property. Early in June 2002, Frank Basso forged his mother's signature on a document that transferred her home to a numbered company of which she was purportedly a shareholder. In fact, he had forged her name on the corporate documents. Basso then took out the three mortgages, transferred the money to the company, and then had the company provide it to him. In turn, he funnelled it through a lawyer to several individuals including a well-known York Region organized crime figure named Michael Marrese. Basso’s mother, Rosa Basso could only afford to move into a small one-room apartment in the Victoria Park and Sheppard Aves area of Toronto. She said that her eviction from her home was particularly traumatic because she had to try to sell her furniture and some of her other possessions because there was no room for them in the tiny apartment. She said that she ended up giving most of her belongings away to charity. I don’t know what her son's sentence was.

Four teens who were charged with killing a cat in a microwave oven during a house break-in in Camrose, Alberta were named in January 2008 on the popular Internet website Facebook, along with postings that included threats of violence against them. The site was closed down but I can understand the anger that people have when they learn that someone has cruelly killed a small animal. The woman of one of the teens said a 15-year-old boy, who routinely carries a knife, instigated the break-in and it was his idea to kill the cat.

In 2007, a 19-year-old in Didsbury, Alberta faced the same kind of hostility from his neighbours for beating a Labrador-collie cross with a shovel, then dragging the dog behind his vehicle.

Tonya Bell, 30 of Oxon Hill, Maryland injured nearly 50 people when she plowed her car through a street festival while she was high on crack cocaine. She had gone on a crack binge in the 24 hours before the street festival, consuming $700 worth of the drug. Many of the injured suffered from broken bones, scars and psychological wounds from the June 2, 2006 driving incident. She had placed her 7-year-old daughter in the back seat of her station wagon and headed toward Unifest, a church-sponsored street festival in southeast Washington. At speeds of up to 70 mph, Bell made two passes through the area, knocking people to the side and under the car. Some of her victims were dragged several blocks under her car and others were thrown into the air by the impact of her car. A police officer who tried to pull her over said she was laughing as she drove. She was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Fortunately, no one was killed. If there had been anyone killed, she would have gotten life in prison.

In December 2007, Fred Netherton, the owner of a Princeton, British Columbia funeral home faced 39 criminal charges over allegations he handed over the wrong ashes to families and defrauded them of money while they were most vulnerable. There were 34 charges of fraud, two counts of neglect of duty and two counts of offering an indignity to human remains. Some family members didn’t have the correct remains after returning the urns they thought contained their loved ones, and there were still some unclaimed ashes. His Princeton-Similkameen Funeral Service had been operating without a licence between September 2003 and late 2005, when it was finally closed down by the B.C. Consumer Protection Authority. By a strange co-incidence, there is a funeral home in Texas called the Fred Netherton Funeral Home. His funeral services were not the only one that offered poor services to the families of the deceased in B.C. Some British Columbia families were allegedly given funeral urns that contained kitty litter, not the cremated remains of their loved ones, and some unwittingly buried or kept on their mantles the ashes of strangers. The owner of a North Bay, Ontario funeral home faced similar charges after the body of a 78-year-old man was found decomposing in the funeral home days after his family buried what the thought were his ashes.

A Vancouver police officer left a chronic alcoholic in an alley to die on a cold raining night on December 6, 1998. Const. David Instant admitted that he left Frank Paul propped up against a wall in an alley behind a detox centre after another police officer told him that was the best option for the homeless man. The man was later found dead the next morning.

In 2007, a 21-year-old woman from Eastern Europe came to Canada answering an Internet ad to work as a model. Instead, she was confined and forced to work as a sex slave for what police are calling the ringleaders of a massive international human trafficking ring. Later, three of her alleged captors were behind bars facing several charges, including, for the second time in Canadian history, human trafficking. Standing in the entrance of her ninth-floor Thornhill, Ontario condominium where about 12 hours earlier police banged on her door, broke through the locks and took her husband away in handcuffs, was the wife of one of the men charged. She said that he is a "good man" who works construction. Tamara Khazarov, 31 said that she was surprised that her husband, Andrei Khazarov, 39 had been arrested considering that he is “a nice man. No smoking. No alcohol. Very nice." Her husband faced charges of conspiracy to commit human trafficking, trafficking in persons, receiving benefit from trafficking in persons, withholding documents, exploitation, procuring a person to become a prostitute, living off the avails of prostitution, forcible confinement, exercising control and threatening bodily harm. Andrei Khazarov's sister and her husband, Daniel Leshinsky, 39, who lived in the unit next door with their 1-year-old son, Richard, were also arrested. More ‘nice’ people. In May of the previous year, a Montreal man and his wife were charged with trafficking a 29-year-old Ethiopian woman, who police say was enslaved as a nanny.

While the United Nations estimates between 700,000 and 2 million women are trafficked across international borders annually, generating revenues approaching $10 billion each year, it's impossible to say how widespread the industry is in Canada because victims are reluctant to come forward. Some of them don't even actually recognize that they're victims. Some of the victims got into the country illegally and for this reason, they don't go to police for fear of deportation. Often their passports or identity papers are often taken away and their lives or those of their loved ones are threatened by their captors

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