Busy time for Canadian Border Services Agency officers

Over 450 people were denied entry into Canada from the U.S. through B.C. ports including Trail’s Port of Waneta in December and January 2011

Over 450 people were denied entry into Canada from the U.S. through B.C. ports including Trail’s Port of Waneta in December and January, while over 1,000 Customs Act and Criminal Code violations occurred.

Officers in the Okanagan Kootenay district, one of five districts in the B.C.-Yukon region, made 424 narcotics seizures, 167 currency seizures, six firearms seizures and 93 prohibited weapons seizures. The district includes ports in Waneta (Trail), Paterson (near Rossland), Nelway (south of Salmo), Carson (Grand Forks) and Kingsgate (south of Creston).

With more than 90 separate acts and regulations being administered by Canadian Border Services Agency, they strained more than 1.5 million people through the Canada-U.S. border in the Pacific Region.

People dodging duty on U.S. purchased goods, illegally declaration of eligibility and improper status, highlighted West Kootenay-Boundary action in the latest report.

Nexus cards seized

Taxes and duties turned into fines and penalties Dec. 21 on goods for two Canadians who refused to declare purchases made in the U.S. at the Nelway border crossing.

Although the two Nexus members and residents of Canada declared $1,100 in purchases after a three-week absence, an exam conducted to establish origin of the goods found a total of $2,900 in undeclared goods, including an iPad, an iPod, a computer program as well as clothing.

When asked by officers why they did not declare the goods, the travelers said they forgot. Officers seized all the undeclared goods and the travelers paid a penalty of $734.11 to have them returned. Their Nexus memberships were cancelled as a result of the enforcement action.

Had the items been properly declared, the travelers would have paid $348 in duties and taxes.

No breath sample, no entry

A US resident was seeking entry to Canada and officers referred him for examination due to numerous indicators.  In secondary, officers detected the odour of alcohol on his breath and asked him to provide a breath sample.  The subject became agitated towards officers and refused to provide the breath sample.  Officers asked the subject numerous times for a breath sample, but the traveler continued to refuse. After repeated attempts to obtain the sample, BSOs arrested the subject for refusal to provide a breath sample. Subject was detained and returned to the US.

Refused for criminality

On Dec. 14 a U.S. resident was seeking entry to visit family members at the Port of Paterson near Rossland.

Officers learned the man had been previously refused entry into Canada and referred the traveler for examination. Officers interviewed the man and determined he was aware he had to obtain criminal rehabilitation to return to Canada, but failed to do so. The man was denied entry.

Arrest for attempting to smuggle drugs

On Jan. 6 two Canadian men sought re-entry to Canada at the Port of Kingsgate, south of Creston.  Due to a number of indicators, officers referred the couple for examination. During the vehicle examination, officers found two grams of marijuana, 11 doses of “magic” mushrooms, two doses of MDMA, as well as various types of drug paraphernalia, including a pop can with a false compartment.

All of these items were concealed in various places in the vehicle, including the false bottom pop can. Officers arrested the subjects and seized all of the contraband.