Passport to Crime: W5
Catalogue Number: CTV814
Subject: Criminal Justice & Law, Current Events, Documentary
Grade Level: 9 - 12, Post Secondary, Adult
Country Of Origin: Canada
Copyright Year: 2020
Running Time: 20:00
There is a new type of tourist coming to Canada, one that is not interested in seeing the sights this country has to offer, but in burglarizing houses, particularly in affluent neighbourhoods. These break-and-enter artists are part of an international crime wave that police say has roots in South America, has crossed the Atlantic targeting several European countries, and is now making its way to North America. It’s a disturbing trend that international law enforcement agencies reveal is getting bigger and more organized.
In the United States, the FBI even has a name for it: “Crime Tourism.”
Police agencies in Canada, the U.S. and Europe report that most of these uninvited visitors are Chilean. They do not require a visa to enter Canada as a tourist. W5 contacted police forces across Canada and found examples of crime tourism from coast to coast. One of the earliest examples was in 2015, when Toronto police arrested 12 Chileans and laid over 97 charges. In Revelstoke, B.C., RCMP arrested three Chileans who were in possession of thousands of dollars in stolen jewelry and cash. In Montreal at least six Chileans were arrested by police. They were part of a gang, police say, stole more than $210,000 in cash and jewelry from one house alone. In October 2019, York Regional Police, a police force which operates near Toronto, arrested three Chileans and laid more than 60 charges. One of the biggest crime tourism busts in Canada occurred in 2018, when police in Halton Region, just west of Toronto, arrested 15 Chileans as part of an operation codenamed “Project Estruendo.” Four hundred burglaries were linked to a single crime ring.
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