16, July 2016
A Catholic priest in Canada has been legally charged with theft and gambling away more than 500,000 Canadian dollars (US$380,000) in donations for the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees arriving in the country.
The 51-year-old clergyman of the Iraq-based Chaldean Catholic church, identified as Amer Saka, had allegedly collected the funds from over 20 donors under the pretext of providing support for the refugees, Canadian police authorities said.
“This investigation spanned throughout the province of Ontario, the United States and other countries where refugees were attempting to come to Canada,” police in London, Ontario, said in a statement.
This is while the head of Canada’s Chaldean Catholic church Bishop Emanuel Shaleta told the local London Free Press that Saka had contacted him to confess he had indeed gambled and lost all of the collected funds.
According to the report, the Catholic priest had been involved in a sponsorship program for refugees for a number of years. He was reportedly sacked by the diocese of Hamilton, Ontario, after local police launched a probe into the case back in February.