Canadian Priest Gambled Away $500,000 in Syria Refugee Aid

Priest Suspended from Church, Arrested Last Week

Canadian priest Amer Saka has bee suspended from his Hamilton, ON diocese and arrested on charges of stealing some $500,000 in aid money earmarked for the resettlement of Syrian refugees, and squandering it on gambling.

Bishop Emanuel Shaleta, the head of the church, confirmed that Saka had called him and admitted to gambling away the money. Saka was deeply involved in a program that was sponsoring and helping refugees resettle into Canada.

Police opened an investigation into the incident back in February. Saka was arrested this past week, and released on bail after being charged with fraud. The court reportedly also ordered him to stay out of casinos in the interim.

The diocese had reportedly applied to bring 20 refugees from Syria, who were presently in Iraq, into Canada, though they said only 10 or 11 of them had actually arrived. Saka was said to be with the refugee resettlement program for nine years.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • Mikronos

    It’s a fact of life that when one person controls the money, and it ain’t his money, it quite possibly soon could be. Had he had more luck at the casino, both he and the fund would have been rich. But then casinos aren’t set up to ‘create wealth’ like stock markets, are they?

  • Math & Physics

    He did the Canadian a favor.

    • George

      Always nice to hear from the racists.

      • Math & Physics

        Then talk to yourself in a mirror.

  • joe

    Does he work for the Killery Clinton foundation?

  • h5mind

    If the casinos received funds from an illicit source, they are guilty of receiving stolen goods. At the least, the funds frittered away should be returned to the church.