June was a busy month for Canada Border Services Agency officers who dealt with over 30,000 travellers at the North Portal point while another 5,300 travellers entered Canada through the Estevan Highway Port.
CBSA officials noted there were a number of highlighted events and issues they had to address during the month including a matter regarding a Texan who was en route to Alaska on June 6. The man was attempting to bring a prohibited handgun into Canada. Officers uncovered the gun hidden in the dash of the car along with 16 over-capacity ammunition magazines for rifles and six over-capacity magazines for handguns. All items were seized as was his vehicle which was later released following the payment of a $1,500 penalty. The man was ultimately refused entry into Canada.
That same day, a North Carolina resident seeking entry into Canada to visit friends was scrutinized by border agents who discovered that he had remained in Canada illegally for a certain period of time in 2011 and had not made an application to extend his stay nor had he confirmed his departure. Officers determined that the man had no ties to the United States and therefore felt he would not return there following his stay in Canada, so he was refused entry.
On June 15 at the Estevan Highway port, a resident of Alaska was seeking entry into Canada so he could return to that state. When officers examined his vehicle, they found 10 bottles of undeclared alcohol, so it was seized with no terms for its release and the traveller was then allowed to continue his journey.
On June 18, a commercial carrier driver en route to northern Alberta was refused entry due to previous criminal activity. The background checks revealed that the North Carolina man had been convicted of several crimes including impaired driving, assault, possession of a weapon and aiding and abetting prostitution.
On June 20, a Michigan resident on his way to Alaska was refused entry into Canada after officers uncovered a concealed prohibited weapon, a non-restricted rifle, 26 bottles of wine and four bottles of alcohol, all of which he had not declared. The firearms and alcohol were seized with no terms of release. The vehicle was also seized and only returned to the traveller after he had paid a $1,305.34 penalty.
On June 30, a Saskatchewan resident returning from Nebraska declared he was importing a vehicle with a value of $5,095. During a more extensive examination, it was determined that the car was actually purchased for $7,177 so it was seized and only released back to the traveller after a penalty of $1,122 was paid. If the traveller had declared the proper value of the vehicle, the additional payment would have been just under $459.
On a final note, CBSA officials remind campers that border officers work hard to prevent entry of unwanted guests, especially six-legged visitors. Therefore, during the summer vacation season, travellers are advised to leave their firewood at the campsites since importing firewood into the United States and Canada is either restricted or prohibited under any circumstances.Wood must meet strict requirements, so it's best to leave it at the camp and make arrangements to get campsite wood upon arrival at their destination.
If anyone spots unusual cross-border activity, they are urged to contact the Border Watch Line at 1-888-502-9060.
For general information regarding Canada Border Services, call 1-800-461-9999.