FORT FRANCES – Crimebeat – In September 2012, CBSA officers at the Fort Frances port of entry (POE) processed 70,267 travellers in 38,453 vehicles, which represents a small increase in travellers and in vehicles compared to September 2011. Twelve charter buses carrying 391 passengers, 840 commercial trucks, and 1,135 pedestrians were processed during the month.
Immigration highlights from the Fort Frances POE: Officers conducted more than 1,900 immigration interviews resulting in the issuance of 23 work permits, 23 visitor records and 135 Remote Area Border Crossing permits. Officers found that 64 people had various admissibility issues, of which 27 were given the option of voluntarily withdrawing their application to enter Canada. The other 37 were allowed entry on a temporary visitor permit.
On September 1, a U.S. resident arrived at the POE and was found to have a lengthy criminal record in the United States, including convictions for robbery, aggravated battery, delivering a controlled substance, possession of cannabis and driving while impaired. The individual was allowed to voluntarily withdraw his application to enter Canada and he returned to the United States.
On September 8, a U.S. resident arrived at the POE seeking entry to look around as he had never been to Canada. Officers discovered that the individual had several convictions in the United States including theft, burglary, theft of a controlled substance, driving under the influence (DUI), aggravated DUI, driving after his license was withdrawn, two probation violations, and using a false driver’s license. He was reported for being inadmissible to Canada due to his criminality and returned to the United States.
On September 13, a U.S. resident with a lengthy criminal record sought entry to Canada. The traveller had convictions for burglary, receiving stolen property, theft, drug possession, damage to property and probation violations. When informed that he was inadmissible to Canada for criminality, he was allowed to voluntarily withdraw his application to enter Canada and returned to the United States.
On September 28, a U.S. resident arrived at the POE seeking entry to Canada to go on a hunting trip. Officers discovered that the individual had a conviction for battery. He was reported as being inadmissible to Canada for serious criminality and he returned to the United States.
Customs highlights from the Fort Frances POE: During the month of September, CBSA officers conducted over 2,100 secondary examinations for customs purposes, initiated five seizure actions and issued an additional 13 written warnings for non-declared or undervalued goods.
On September 5, a returning Canadian resident declared a travel trailer purchased in the United States for US$2,200. During processing of the import paperwork, officers found the online ad for the trailer which showed an asking price of US$4,500. After further questioning, the individual admitted that he had paid the full US$4,500. The trailer was seized for undervaluation and released back to the traveller upon payment of a $1,247.67 penalty. Had the full value been truthfully declared in the first place, he would have paid approximately $120 in additional taxes.
On September 9, two returning Canadian residents made a declaration of approximately $13,000 worth of goods upon returning from the United States after a 48-hour absence. However, officers conducted an examination of the pair’s vehicle which resulted in the discovery of approximately $1,100 worth of undeclared auto parts installed on the vehicle. The owner of the vehicle admitted that he was trying to save a few dollars in taxes. The vehicle was seized for non-report of the installed parts and released back to the owner after payment of a $594 penalty. Had the parts been truthfully reported, the driver would have paid approximately $140 in taxes.
On September 19, officers seized approximately $1,800 worth of non-reported goods from a U.S. resident, as well as two 1.75L bottles of liquor. The goods were released back to the individual upon payment of a $450 penalty. Had the goods been truthfully reported, they would have been subject to $90 in taxes. The bottles of alcohol were seized with no terms of release.
Travel tips: The CBSA reminds travelers 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.
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.
Certain foreign nationals who do not meet the requirements to overcome their criminal inadmissibility may 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 at: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/manuals/bulletins/2012/ob389.asp.
Anyone with information about suspicious cross-border activity is encouraged to call the CBSA Border Watch toll-free line at 1-888-502-9060.