FORT FRANCES – Crimebeat – In July 2012, CBSA officers at the Fort Frances port of entry (POE) processed 107,594 travellers in 49,393 vehicles, which represents a 3.7 percent decrease in travellers and a 0.06 percent decrease in vehicles compared to July 2011. Sixty-three charter buses carrying 1,278 passengers, 480 commercial trucks, and 1,827 pedestrians were processed during the month.
Here is an overview of what the CBSA officers dealt with in July:
IMMIGRATION: Officers at the Fort Frances POE conducted more than 2,400 immigration interviews resulting in the issuance of 10 work permits, six visitor records and 580 Remote Area Border Crossing permits. Ninety people were found to have various admissibility issues, of which 49 were given the option of voluntarily withdrawing their application to enter Canada. The other 41 were allowed entry on a temporary visitor permit.
On July 5, a U.S. resident was referred for a secondary examination after stating that the purpose of his trip was to visit a friend in Canada. An examination of his vehicle resulted in the seizure of 0.5 grams of marijuana. Although charges were not laid in this instance, he was given the option of voluntarily withdrawing his application to enter Canada and was allowed to leave for committing a crime upon entry. He returned to the United States.
On July 14, a U.S. resident claimed that he had been convicted of driving while impaired (DWI) many years ago. A full background check was conducted and revealed that his DWI was actually an involuntary manslaughter conviction. When officers confronted the individual about his conviction, he stated that he was aware of his inadmissibility and intentionally made misleading statements so that he could go fishing with friends in Canada. He was reported as being inadmissible to Canada for serious criminality and he returned to the United States.
Also on July 14, CBSA officers discovered 10.1 grams of marijuana in a U.S. resident’s vehicle. His vehicle was seized and subsequently released upon payment of a $220 penalty. The individual was allowed to withdraw his application to enter Canada for committing a crime upon entry and returned to the United States.
CUSTOMS: During the month of July, CBSA officers conducted over 1,100 secondary examinations for customs purposes, initiated 14 seizure actions and issued an additional 14 written warnings for non-declared or undervalued goods.
On July 2, a returning Canadian resident was found to be the subject of an arrest warrant. He was wanted on several charges. He was also on conditions to abstain from consuming or possessing alcohol. CBSA officers discovered that the individual had been drinking and, as a result, he was arrested for breach of recognizance and turned over to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP). He was then transferred to Thunder Bay to face the charges related to the warrant.
On July 10, a Canadian resident was denied entry to the United States and returned to Canada on foot. CBSA officers discovered that the individual was the subject of an arrest warrant under the Family Responsibility and Support Arrears Enforcement Act. He was arrested at the Fort Frances POE and turned over to the OPP.
On July 21, two U.S. residents declared two bags of live leeches to be used as fishing bait. As live leeches cannot be imported for bait, the travellers were instructed to return to the United States to dispose of their leeches. The pair returned to the Fort Frances POE a short while later and stated that they had left the leeches with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Officers conducted an examination of their vehicle and discovered the leeches concealed in a cooler and hidden under live night crawlers packed in commercial bedding. The leeches were seized and the matter was referred to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources for further investigation.
TRAVEL TIPS: After an absence of 24 hours, you may bring back $200 worth of goods duty- and tax-free; after 48 hours, your personal exemption will be $800. There are no exemptions for same-day travel. Alcohol and tobacco can be imported free of duty and taxes only if you have been away at least 48 hours. For amounts allowed and additional information, check www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca.
The CBSA reminds travellers to truthfully declare all purchases and goods received outside of Canada upon their return. Smuggling, undervaluation and other Customs Act offences may lead to seizure and/or prosecution in a court of law. The CBSA keeps a record of infractions in its computer system. If you have an infraction record, you may have to undergo a more detailed examination on future trips.
All firearms and weapons must be declared to a border services officer when you enter Canada. Failure to do so could result in them being seized, and you may face criminal charges. In addition, new regulations are now in place to facilitate the entry of certain foreign nationals who do not meet the requirements to overcome their criminal inadmissibility to be allowed to enter Canada with a one-time only fee-exempt temporary resident permit. For more information, please visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Web site.