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Wednesday, 24 October 2012 15:36

Alberta Border highlights for September

Written by  Canada Border Services Agency
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In September, the port of Coutts processed more than 17,700 vehicles and 12,800 commercial trucks for entry into Canada.

There were 21 seizures valued at more than $145,000, resulting in more than $6,500 in penalties to travellers. Of the 51,000 travellers, there were 102 people refused entry, 278 people were granted permanent residence status and 143 people received work permits. Seven people were arrested on outstanding warrants.
At Carway, there were 10,600 vehicles and 87 commercial trucks processed for entry into Canada.
Of the 21,100 travellers, officers finalized 283 permanent residence applications, issued 87 work permits, and refused entry to 37 people. Two people were arrested on outstanding warrants.
Here are a few events from select Alberta border crossings last month.
On Sept. 3, a foreign national arrived at the port to obtain a work permit. Background checks revealed the woman arrived in Canada as a visitor in February 2012 and officers determined she had been working without authorization since that time at a restaurant. She was issued an exclusion order and returned to the United States.
On Sept. 9, officers seized multiple firearms, weapons, firearm parts, and approximately 15,000 rounds of ammunition from an Alaska resident.
The traveller was charged and received a $1,050 fine in provincial court. He was allowed entry into Canada to continue his travel to Alaska. The firearms and weapons will be destroyed.
On Sept. 11, officers seized more than $34,000 in cash hidden behind the panels of the back seat of a truck. The driver, a Pennsylvania man, was travelling to the Yukon for a hunting trip and told officers the money was to pay for a hunting guide, incidentals, lodging, and any emergencies. The man was issued a $250 penalty and admitted he should have declared the money to officers during primary questioning.
On Sept. 13, CBSA officers refused entry to a commercial driver from Washington State as he had recently been convicted of DUI, negligent driving and reckless driving. The man returned to the United States.
On Sept. 20, an Alberta man returned to Coutts and declared $454 worth of automotive parts.
Officers examined his vehicle and found $1,693 in parts that had not been declared. The man was issued a $423 penalty. Had he truthfully declared, he would have paid a total of $85 in GST.
On Sept. 21, a commercial driver from Utah was refused entry for his significant criminal past, including: sexual battery and willful child cruelty: possible injury/death, which netted him five years in jail and two years’ probation; and drug trafficking and assault for  which he received five years’ probation.
As the man was insistent on clearing his commercial shipment and refused to leave, officers escorted the man back to his truck. The man returned to the United States.
On Sept. 27, a commercial driver from New York was arrested and subsequently charged after CBSA officers found suspected child pornography on the man’s computer. The case continues before the courts.
On Sept. 29, CBSA officers refused entry to a man with a criminal record spanning 25 years in five U.S. states. Additionally, he had several outstanding charges in California from the prior week, including: DUI, disorderly conduct, assault, resist arrest and reckless endangerment. The man stated he was coming to compete in a rugby tournament and was going to a job interview afterwards. The man had no driver’s licence, only state IDs. The man returned to the United States.
On Sept. 1, an astounding 42 permanent residence applications were finalized.
On Sept. 3, CBSA officers prevented entry of a serious criminal into Canada. The New Mexico man was coming to Calgary to work, but background checks revealed the man was convicted of manslaughter, murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and 15 other convictions for violence and drugs. He was refused entry and returned to the United States.
On Sept. 5, CBSA officers received a tip from witnesses who suspected the occupants of a north-bound vehicle were smuggling a horse saddle and tack items into Canada. When the vehicle arrived at the port of Carway, the occupants of the vehicle said they travelled to Montana to ride a horse at a nearby ranch. Both travellers provided conflicting statements to the officer and ultimately they admitted to buying the used saddle on this trip for $1,375.
Background checks revealed both had previous seizures against them. They were issued a $542 penalty. They would have paid $69 in GST had they declared the purchase.
A pair of foreign nationals had a loaded firearm and pepper spray seized by officers on Sept. 11. They were given a $1,500 penalty. The firearm and pepper spray will be destroyed.
The port officially closed for the season on Sept. 30. Since opening in May, more than 98,000 travellers entered Canada through Chief Mountain and Waterton Lakes National Park. The port will reopen May 15, 2013.
On Sept. 11, an Edmonton couple undervalued a 2006 luxury sedan by $16,889. The pair admitted they were trying to save money on taxes. The taxes owed on the $38,000 vehicle would have been approximately $1,900. The vehicle was seized and the couple was issued a $6,759 penalty. Officers then conducted a routine search of the vehicle and found two bottles of steroids totalling 250ml. The man admitted ownership. Officers conducted background checks on the pair and discovered the man was also in breach of parole conditions for being in contact with his female passenger. He was arrested and turned over to RCMP.
The CBSA reminds all travellers that they are required to answer all questions truthfully and declare all goods they are bringing into Canada, including firearms and weapons in their possession.
Failure to declare goods, including firearms, and other Customs Act contraventions may lead to prosecution in a court of law.
Anyone with information about suspicious cross-border activity, can contact the Border Watch Line at 1-888-502-9060. For information on CBSA, phone 1-800-461-9999.

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