Running the Border Tops Incidents
THUNDER BAY – Protecting the border is the responsibility of the Canadian Border Services Agency. Each month the CBSA reports on some of the events they encounter at the Northwestern Ontario border crossings.
Just south of Thunder Bay in September, at the Pigeon River port of entry (POE) the CBSA processed 45,860 travellers in 23,884 vehicles, which represent a 10 percent decrease in travellers and a nine percent decrease in vehicles from September 2013. More than 1,424 international travellers entered by bus.
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 borders are 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.
Here are some highlights of immigration and customs enforcement activities for September 2014:
Officers at the Pigeon River POE conducted more than 546 immigration interviews resulting in 18 Visitor Records, 12 Work Permits, nine Temporary Resident Permits, and in 31 cases, individuals decided to voluntarily withdraw their applications to enter Canada.
On September 16, a vehicle with a male U.S. resident ran through the Pigeon River POE at a high rate of speed. The officer was able to retrieve the plate information from the vehicle; the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) intercepted the traveller, and returned him to the POE. The traveller had attempted to cross into Canada a week earlier, stating he wanted to look for work in Canada. He was denied entry and returned to the United States. This time, the individual was taken to the OPP detention centre and later to the Thunder Bay District Jail. Criminal charges were laid, and on Friday, October 3, 2014, he pled guilty and received 18 days in jail time served.
On September 16, a vessel, coming from the United States, arrived in Thunder Bay and was referred for an immigration examination. Officers discovered that one crew member was charged in the United States for criminal trespass and menacing, being unlawfully in a dwelling house and uttering threats. A second crew member had previously been denied entry to Canada due to a conviction in the United States for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Officers instructed the captain of the ship not to let the two crew members off the vessel. They were allowed to load their shipment and the vessel departed the same day.
CBSA officers conducted approximately 3,980 secondary examinations for customs purposes or on behalf of other government departments, initiated 11 seizure actions, three arrests and issued additional written warnings for undeclared or undervalued goods.
On September 9, two U.S. residents attempted to enter Canada for two nights. After being referred for a secondary examination, officers located an undeclared handgun in the passenger’s purse. The traveller was arrested for possession of a firearm and it was seized with no terms of release. The vehicle was also seized and released back to the traveller upon payment of a $1,000 penalty. The individual arrested for possession of a firearm was released on a $400 recognizance and her next court appearance is scheduled for December 5, 2014.
On September 13, a Canadian resident was returning from a two night stay in Minnesota. He declared that he purchased a puppy for US$800. After being referred for a secondary examination, officers determined during the interview that the traveller had actually paid US$1,800. The puppy was seized for undervaluation and was released back to the traveller upon payment of a $609.18 penalty. Had the canine been declared at its proper value, the traveller would have paid approximately $234.
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.