NEWS

U-Pass fraudsters deported to China

01/10/2012 09:10 EST | Updated 03/11/2012 05:12 EDT

Canadian authorities have deported a Chinese couple who stole identity information from more than 150 Simon Fraser University students, CBC News has learned.

Siyuan Gu and Jing Wang, both 31, pleaded guilty in December to using forged student ID cards to obtain TransLink U-Passes, court documents show.

The documents said that when police raided Gu and Wang's apartment they found found "some retail PIN card terminals, a pinhole camera, wireless remote transmitter and receiver, a magnetic card reader, lock picks and locksmith tools."

The also found a 500-page printout of information on SFU students.

The information was obtained from university computers that had been compromised with devices that allowed the thieves to record the keystrokes of users.

"This constituted identity information on a large number of SFU students," according to a statement of facts entered at Vancouver provincial court.

The pair obtained 128 U-Passes between September and their arrest on November 21. They had 47 forged SFU student ID cards on them when they were arrested.

Other minor theft connections

The fraud represents a loss of nearly $20,000 for TransLink.

The U-Pass system allows students to pay $30 a month for access to transit services, a greatly reduced rate from the regular $151 three-zone pass. The program is available to all eligible public, post-secondary institutions in Metro Vancouver.

Investigators involved in the case say the pair have also been connected to a number of purse and wallet thefts in Burnaby as well as thefts from mail and financial institutions. They're believed to have used information gained from stolen ID to commit fraud.

The two pleaded guilty to fraud two days before Christmas and were deported back to China Dec. 27.

Gu was in Canada on a student visa for nine years and filed forged academic and bank records with Immigration Canada.

Wang was named on his visa as his spouse.

MORE:cbcNews