FORT FRANCES – CRIME NEWS – Protecting Canada’s border is the taks of the Canadian Border Service Agency. In April 2014, CBSA officers at the Fort Frances port of entry (POE) processed 56,680 travelers in 32,404 vehicles, which represents a six-percent increase in travelers and a four-percent increase in vehicles from April 2013. More than 311 international travelers entered by bus.
In April, officers at the Fort Frances POE conducted more than 549 immigration interviews resulting in three Visitor Records, 32 Work Permits and seven Temporary Resident Permits. In 12 cases, individuals decided to voluntarily withdraw their applications to enter Canada.
On April 9, a U.S. resident was seeking entry into Canada to camp overnight, even though there was snow on the ground and it was very cold. She was referred for an immigration examination. During the interview, it was determined that this traveller had two previous inadmissibility documents issued in 2010. The traveller had a very small amount of cash and was unable to support her stay while in Canada. She was given the option of withdrawing her application to enter Canada and returned to the United States without incident.
On April 25, a U.S. resident attempted to enter into Canada. He was referred for a secondary examination. He was agitated and had been sleeping in his van. During the examination, he was found to be criminally inadmissible due to the following convictions: burglary, felony auto theft, transfer of a firearm to a prohibited person, damage to property, receiving stolen property, failure to comply with legal orders, first degree assault, and failure to appear. The traveler was fully counseled regarding his inadmissibility and he returned to the United States.
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.
In April, CBSA officers conducted approximately 3,155 secondary examinations for customs purposes or on behalf of other government departments, initiated seven seizure actions, one arrest and issued additional written warnings for undeclared or undervalued goods.
On April 18, two U.S. residents arrived at the POE and wanted to enter Canada for two days. The driver declared one litre of alcohol, four beers and approximately $350 in gifts to be left in Canada. In addition, he declared airplane floats and airplane skis valued at $5,500, which he intended to sell in Canada. Officers suspected that the airplane parts were undervalued and eventually determined that the importer had actually paid $10,500, not $5,500. The airplane parts were seized for undervaluation and were released back to the importer upon payment of $1,374.75. Had the parts been declared at their proper value, the importer would have paid approximately $650.
On April 26, a returning Canadian resident declared a boat, motor and trailer package purchased in the United States, and paid the applicable taxes. After further processing, officers discovered that additional goods, including fishing gear and lifejackets, totalling $565.34 were purchased and were not declared. The goods were seized for non-report and were released back to the importer upon payment of $169.60. Had all the goods been declared properly, the applicable taxes would have amounted to $73.49.
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.