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Thursday, 22 December 2011 15:03

U.S./Canada Border highlights for the month of November

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Submitted by Canada Border Services Agency — Coutts
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) experienced slightly lower volumes at its southern Alberta border crossings in November, however, there were some notable highlights. Here is what happened at Coutts and Carway last month:


At Coutts, the largest border crossing in Alberta, there were 14,039 vehicles, 12,240 commercial trucks, and 45,876 people processed

for entry into Canada. Officers also granted 186 permanent resident applications, 165 work permits and six study permits to foreign nationals entering Canada. Eighty-five people were refused entry and two people were arrested on outstanding warrants.

November began with a large firearms seizure: on the first of the month, officers seized two prohibited handguns, two restricted handguns, one restricted semi-automatic rifle, one non-restricted rifle, 15 high capacity magazines, and one pepper spray.

The majority of the firearms were loaded and concealed. The items were seized. William Wegmann was turned over to RCMP for criminal charges. The matter is ongoing.

On Nov. 4, officers seized a plastic bucket filled with marijuana. The Washington resident was returning home from Great Falls and claimed he did not intend to enter Canada. A total of 31 grams were seized. RCMP were notified and charged the man. The man was also criminally inadmissible to Canada as he had several previous convictions, including four DUIs, two felony possession of marijuana, communication with a minor for immoral purpose, and driving while licence suspended.

On Nov. 9, a Japanese national came to the port to get a work permit. Through further questioning and checks, officers determined the woman was working without authorization and was attempting to get a work permit back-dated to support her claim for Employment Insurance. Removal arrangements have been made for this individual.

On Nov. 15, 10 refugee claimants were returned to the U.S. The Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the United States stipulates that refugee claimants are required to request refugee protection in the first safe country they arrive in. In this case, the claim should have been made in the United States.

On Nov. 19, an Alberta resident was importing a 2011 which he declared at $46,700. Officers were suspicious of the declared value and asked the importer for appropriate receipts. The importer began to display signs of nervousness and admitted that he undervalued the vehicle by $9,133. He was issued a penalty of $2,283 for the return of his vehicle.

The importer was trying to save approximately $500

in GST.

On Nov. 20, officers seized a fraudulently obtained Florida driver’s licence from an Albertan returning to Canada. He admitted to living illegally in the U.S. for the past several years and had intentions of having his wife and children immigrate to Canada, all of whom were using his alias as a last name. The investigation is ongoing.

On Nov. 23, a man was moving back to Canada from the U.S. and was starting a new job in northern Alberta. He was importing a truck, but was also hauling a trailer and two ATVs.

Officers ran further checks on the ATVs and found they were purchased in the U.S.

When officers approached the man with this fact, he said to seize the ATVs and he would pay the penalty

the get them back. Upon further interview, the man explained he was counselled by a friend to not declare the ATVs, and once he got to Alberta to write a fake bill of sale and register them in the province. Officers seized the ATVs, which were valued at $8,000. The man was issued a penalty of $3,317 to retrieve the ATVs.

On Nov. 26, officers seized a race car chassis with wheels, fixtures and accessories from Arizona that was undervalued by $15,153.723. Its actual value was $30,884.22. The goods were seized and the man was issued a penalty for $8,334.54. The importer was trying to save $750 in GST.

Finally on Nov. 26, officers at Coutts granted a record 32 permanent resident applications in one day.


At Carway, the second largest border crossing in Alberta, there were 3,499 vehicles, 87 commercial trucks, and 8,014 people processed for entry into Canada. Officers also granted 203 permanent resident applications, 87 work permits and six study permits to foreign nationals entering Canada.

Also, 15 people were refused entry.

On Nov. 5, five men were refused entry: two had

no proof of identification; two had multiple DUI convictions, and one had a theft conviction.

On Nov. 11, a Utah resident was refused entry for two previous DUI convictions. He was seeking entry into Canada to hunt.

On Nov. 13, a foreign national working in Glacier Park was seeking entry to Canada to shop. Officers conducted background checks and determined the man was criminally inadmissible for three DUIs and two child abuse convictions.

On Nov. 19, officers granted 32 permanent resident applications in a single day.

On Nov. 27, an Alberta resident was returning from California in a 2006 licensed and registered in that state. He told officers the vehicle belonged to his mother-in-law. He alleged she spoke very little English and therefore asked him to take the vehicle with him to Canada and ship it to Nigeria on her behalf. Officers were suspicious and examined the vehicle only to find all the documents required to import a vehicle into Canada, plus an Alberta license plate, and a valid insurance paper for the vehicle. All of the documents listed the traveller as the owner of the vehicle and it had been purchased the day before from a dealership.

Through further questioning the man finally admitted to purposely misleading the officers. He had flown from Calgary to California the previous morning and was met at the airport by the dealership and then drove through the night directly to Carway. Officers seized the $12,584 vehicle, and the man was issued penalties in excess of $7,500 for its return. The man was trying to save approximately $630 in GST.

The Canada Border Services Agency is committed to keeping borders safe. If you have information about suspicious cross-border activity, contact the Border Watch Line at 1-888-502-9060. For information on CBSA, phone 1-800-461-9999.

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