02/05/2015 08:07 EST | Updated 04/07/2015 05:59 EDT

Toronto woman arrested in $1.5M immigration fraud scheme

Police have arrested and charged a Toronto woman in connection with a scheme that defrauded would-be immigrant workers of more than $1.5 million.

The investigation into GoWest Jobs International, an employment recruiting agency on Finch Avenue West that specializes in immigrant workers, began in October last year.

According to police, the company took payments from foreign applicants, mainly of Filipino descent, to produce fraudulent documents, references and employment contracts. These materials were then submitted to foreign government agencies to create the appearance that all the necessary paperwork was in order.

But when the applicants tried to follow up, they were denied entry to Canada because of the false documentation submitted on their behalf.

Those caught with fake paperwork are banned from re-applying to work in Canada for two years.

Police say the company took more than $1.5 million in fees from about 500 applicants from six countries.

Yesterday, police arrested and charged Imelda Fronda Saluma, 46, with 39 offences, including 11 counts of fraud over $5,000.

Police believe there may be more victims, and are asking anyone who may have been defrauded or anyone who may have valuable information to contact them.