Victim of Port Mann security breach speaks out
CTV British Columbia
Published Friday, October 19, 2012 10:30PM PDT
One of the Port Mann Bridge users whose tolling accounts were allegedly handled by a convicted fraud artist is slamming the company for how it handled the mess.
Don Woode is among the 350 drivers who signed up for the new TReO tolling stickers, only to learn they had given their home address, license plate number and credit card number to an employee who didn’t have the authorization to take it.
“[He was] very personable, very smooth,” Woode told CTV News.
Authorities believe the employee was Fils Pierre Gog, a 39-year-old Cameroon native who was arrested in September and charged with personation and ID theft.
He got a job at the Transportation Investment Corporation through Kelly Temporary Services, which Woode says was the company’s first mistake.
“To put people in that position that are temps, you’re relying on someone else’s screening rather than your own,” he said.
Then, after the security breach was discovered, Woode says TIC mishandled its warning to affected customers. He received a warning letter about the situation in September, but says it didn’t tell him to cancel his credit card.
Woode did it anyway. He eventually received another letter advising him to cancel the card a week later.
“I think it was handled in a really un-businesslike way,” Woode said.
The company said Gog was operating under a different identity, and documents from the Immigration and Refugee Board indicate he has used multiple identities during his time in Canada.
CTV News learned this week that Gog has already been deported from the country three times since 2008, but each time has managed to return and commit more crimes.
A transcript from a July 2011 immigration hearing reveals he first entered Canada in December 2000 using a fake British passport with the name McKumbu Frederick.
He has since been convicted of a litany of offences, including fraud, assault, forcible confinement, unlawful use of a credit card and uttering threats.
He told immigration officials last year that he wished to stay in Canada to be with his son, though he admitted he had not spoken to him and did not know where he lived.
“It’s more than clear to me that in terms of Canada Border Service Agency, in terms of obligations put on you by Immigration authorities and the general laws of Canada, that you have a disinterest in complying at all,” the board’s decision read.
“Your word is of no value here.”
Immigration Minister Jason Kenny promises to monitor the Gog case and says new fingerprinting and photo visa requirements next year will go a long way in keeping criminals like him out of the country.
“Starting with high risk countries, and eventually countries from which we require visas, applicants coming to Canada will have to show us their fingerprints and a digital photo to check against our criminal watch list,” Kenny said.
The fingerprints would also be compared to U.S. criminal records, he added.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Mi-Jung Lee