Fort Erie, Ontario, August 24, 2012 – The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced today arrests following seizures of tobacco, drugs, guns and a 1969 Camaro from border crossings in the Southern Ontario Region.
On August 13, a border services officer at Queenston Bridge Commercial Operations referred a truck driver for a secondary examination. The driver failed to stop at the CBSA warehouse for inspection and continued to the tolls. He was intercepted by CBSA officers and returned to secondary. When officers examined the driver's trailer, they discovered 132 boxes containing 14,070 kg of tobacco instead of steel as indicated on the paperwork. The 50-year-old Hamilton man was arrested by border services officers and charged by the CBSA Criminal Investigations Division with five Customs Act charges: failing to remain and answer questions, non-compliance, making false statements, attempting to smuggle, and wilfully evading duty. The value of the attempted duty evasion is $2,654,260.
On August 17, 2012, a 45-year-old Stoney Creek man was arrested by officers at the Queenston Bridge after undervaluing his declaration. The individual was returning to Canada after a one-night stay in the United States when he declared the purchase of a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro valued at USD$10,000. He was referred to secondary to pay the duties and taxes on the declared value and to verify his declaration. During the vehicle examination and through questioning, CBSA officers determined that the importer had provided a false invoice. The importer then provided officers with a second false value of $20,000. Further investigation revealed that the man had purchased the vehicle for approximately USD$67,500. The CBSA's Criminal Investigations Division charges are pending.
On August 18, 2012, officers at the Peace Bridge arrested an Ohio man after he failed to declare two loaded firearms located inside a diaper bag on the rear seat of his vehicle. The 31-year-old was charged by the CBSA's Criminal Investigations Division with making false statements and smuggling contrary to the Customs Act. The Niagara Regional Police also laid charges under the Criminal Code.
On August 22, 2012, officers at the Blue Water Bridge arrested a New Mexico man after finding 250 pills regulated under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The 30-year-old man told officers he was going to visit a friend in Kitchener for two weeks. Upon examination of his vehicle, officers discovered various pill bottles containing an assortment of controlled drugs. The individual was arrested by the CBSA and turned over to the custody of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
"These enforcement actions demonstrate that border services officers and criminal investigators in the Southern Ontario Region are working hard to protect Canadians," said Rick Comerford, Regional Director General, Southern Ontario Region.
Anyone with information about suspicious cross-border activity is encouraged to call the CBSA Border Watch toll-free line at 1-888-502-9060. All calls are completely confidential.
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For media information
Canada Border Services Agency
Southern Ontario Region
Telephone: 905-354-2011, 519-967-4330 or 905-933-5463