CBSA Officers Seize Illegal Cigarettes
THUNDER BAY – NEWS – In November 2014, CBSA officers at the Pigeon River port of entry (POE) processed 33,826 travellers in 17,709 vehicles, which represents a seven-percent decrease in travellers and an eight-percent decrease in vehicles from November 2013. More than 1,771 travellers entered by bus.
In November, officers at the Pigeon River POE conducted more than 190 immigration interviews resulting in eight Visitor Records, six Work Permits, and in 10 cases, individuals decided to voluntarily withdraw their applications to enter Canada.
On November 2, a U.S. resident arrived at Pigeon River POE seeking entry into Canada. He stated that his intention was to avoid large debts owed in the U.S. and to sightsee. The traveller was referred for an immigration examination. Officers discovered that the traveller had been denied entry into Canada in 2004. He also had previous convictions in the U.S. including a firearms related conviction, assault in the second degree, possession of a firearm after felony, arrest for theft under $1,000 and arrest for being a fugitive from justice and he was not in possession of documentation to support his admissibility. The traveller voluntarily withdrew his application to enter Canada and returned to the United States. On November 4, the traveller made another attempt to enter Canada at the Pigeon River POE and during the immigration interview he stated that he intended to live in Canada. However, he did not have proper documentation and voluntarily withdrew his application to enter Canada and returned to the U.S. The traveller attempted to enter Canada again later that day and became agitated and elusive in answering questions. As a result, the traveller was not allowed into Canada and subsequently was escorted back to the U.S. by BSOs.
On November 27, three U.S. residents arrived at the Pigeon River POE seeking entry into Canada for a weekend holiday. They were referred for an immigration examination. One traveller was in possession of an expired Temporary Resident Permit from 2011, which was used to overcome his criminal inadmissibility. At that time, he was counselled on how to apply for rehabilitation to enter Canada. As he had not applied for criminal rehabilitation to enter Canada, he was considered inadmissible and all three travellers 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 November, CBSA officers conducted approximately 2,963 secondary examinations for customs purposes or on behalf of other government departments, initiated three seizure actions, one arrest, and additional written warnings were issued for undeclared or undervalued goods.
On November 8, three Canadian residents arrived at the Pigeon River POE and made a declaration of one pack of cigarettes. Officers discovered that the vehicle was reported as having crossed into the U.S. and immediately turned around to head back into Canada. The travellers were referred for secondary examination where one traveller spontaneously admitted that he had 100 cartons of undeclared cigarettes. During the examination, officers discovered that the individuals had travelled to a reserve in Quebec in order to purchase tax-free cigarettes for the purpose of transporting them to Winnipeg for resale and that they had not intended to cross into the United States. The investigation concerning the purchase of 100 cartons of cigarettes was handed over to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
On November 14, two Canadian residents were returning to Canada after being absent for the day, and declared purchasing goods worth US$94. The vehicle was referred for a secondary examination and the travellers were asked to pay taxes on their goods. Upon examination of the vehicle, officers found multiple receipts along with undeclared goods intermixed with the declared items. The total value of the undeclared items was $625.08. The undeclared goods were seized for failing to report them. All the goods were released back to the travellers upon payment of a $274.75 penalty. Had all the goods been properly declared, the travellers would have paid approximately $81.
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.