Pigeon River, Ontario, February 3, 2012 — The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) facilitates the entry of legitimate travellers and goods, while protecting the safety and security of Canadians and ensuring that Canada's border is not used for illegal activity. This work is carried out by CBSA border services officers (BSOs) who ensure that the people, goods and conveyances entering Canada meet all requirements and are compliant with Canadian law.
In December 2011, CBSA officers at the Pigeon River port of entry (POE) processed 38,207 travellers in 19,706 vehicles, as well as 541 commercial drivers.
In December, officers at the Pigeon River POE conducted 251 immigration examinations. As a result of the examinations, 22 individuals were issued immigration documents, while 13 individuals were given the option of voluntarily withdrawing their application to enter Canada for criminality or other inadmissibility issues. Four individuals became permanent residents.
During the month of December, CBSA officers conducted 531 secondary examinations for customs purposes, initiating 16 seizure actions for various offences and issuing an additional 36 written warnings for undeclared or improperly reported goods.
On December 2, a couple was referred for further examination to verify their declarations. The Canadian residents told officers that they had gone to the United States to pick up a cable worth US$8.99. During the subsequent examination, officers found two parcels containing stereo equipment worth US$1,054.99. The travellers were initially reluctant to state when they acquired the goods, but later admitted that they had just picked them up and failed to declare them. The stereo equipment was seized and released back to the travellers upon payment of $268.34 in penalties. Had the goods been properly declared, the couple would have instead paid $139.54.
On December 3, a U.S. resident arrived at the Pigeon River POE pulling a newly purchased trailer for a Canadian. Officers noticed the individual's nervous and erratic behaviour. Following further questioning, the officers decided to conduct a secondary examination of the vehicle. During the exam they detected the odour of marijuana in the vehicle. The traveller replied that the odour they smelt must have been coming from his dog. Officers then found 5.5 grams of suspected marijuana and a prohibited push dagger in the traveller's belongings. The subject was arrested for smuggling. The drugs and weapon were seized without the possibility of their return, and the individual was given the option of voluntarily withdrawing his application to enter Canada due to his past criminal activity.
On December 7, a lone male traveller entered Canada and was referred for further examination by the primary officer. Instead of proceeding to the secondary examination area, the individual fled the POE in his vehicle and stopped at the Tourist Information Centre nearby. Officers followed on foot and found him throwing articles into the ditch behind the Centre. Officers ordered the individual to stop and the traveller admitted that he had thrown marijuana out. He was arrested and the marijuana was retrieved by officers. The traveller stated that he was attempting to attend a birthday party in Calgary and he had made a wrong turn in error, and ended up at the border. Officers ultimately seized 180 grams of marijuana between what was in his vehicle and what he attempted to toss out. The marijuana was seized and the traveller and his vehicle were released upon payment of a $1,000 penalty for running the port.
Lastly, on December 24, two Canadian residents crossed the bridge from the United States and at first attempted to elude examination by driving through a lane dedicated for bus traffic only. Two BSOs intercepted the vehicle in the bus lane and directed the travellers to an open primary inspection lane. They were interviewed and referred for further examination by an officer. During the subsequent examination, the travellers stated that they were trying to return to Winnipeg and had made an incorrect turn along the way. Officers examined the vehicle and discovered that the individuals were in possession of 17 MDMA (ecstasy) pills, 1.5 grams of hashish oil and a small amount of marijuana. The travellers were arrested and both the vehicle and the drugs were seized by officers. The individuals were later released and the vehicle was returned upon payment of a $1,200 penalty for smuggling narcotics.
The CBSA reminds all travellers to truthfully declare all purchases when returning to Canada and to be mindful of the following: after an absence of 24 hours, you may bring back $50 worth of goods duty- and tax-free; after 48 hours, your personal exemption is $400; and after an absence of seven days, you are entitled to $750 worth of duty-and tax-free goods. There are no personal exemptions for same-day purchases.
Please refer to the I Declare brochure on the CBSA Web site for more information.
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Canada Border Services Agency