Border seizures net guns, drugs, cash
A man travelling with a loaded handgun in the bathroom of his trailer and two Alberta residents trying to smuggle prohibited throwing stars into Canada were among several people fined or arrested at local borders last month.
Canada Border Services Agency spokesperson Erin Steeksma said the incidents were part of what made for “a very busy month” in the Pacific Highway District, which includes the Boundary Bay, Douglas (Peace Arch), Pacific Highway, Aldergrove and Abbotsford-Huntingdon ports.
The bathroom gun was found Aug. 28, during examination of a northbound trailer at the Douglas border. The gun was seized, and a U.S. resident was arrested, fined $1,000 and refused admission to Canada in connection with the discovery.
Three “bat-style” throwing stars – also called Shurikens – were found Aug. 10 in the glove compartment of a northbound vehicle at the Douglas crossing. The weapons, which are prohibited in Canada, were seized, and an Alberta resident was fined $500 for failing to declare the goods.
Aug. 2, a man travelling with his young son was arrested and fined $1,000 after a handgun loaded to capacity was found within arms’ reach of both males.
Steeksma said 55 drug seizures in the district last month resulted in more than 800 grams of marijuana and four grams of hashish being confiscated from 43 travellers. At the Pacific Highway border, 514 steroid pills were seized from a Missouri resident; another 129 pills that require permits under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act were seized in five separate incidents at the Douglas crossing.
In addition to drugs and weapons, border officers seized thousands of dollars worth of undeclared, high-value commodities in August.
Aug. 9, suspicions were raised after a northbound U.S. resident claimed that paintings and sculptures headed across the border to decorate a vacation home in Canada were only worth about $1,300. Discrepancies between the traveller’s statements and documentation led the guards to discover the artwork was actually worth more than $220,000, and that it was being imported for resale, Steeksma said. The art was seized and the traveller, who was denied entry to Canada, must pay penalties of more than $90,000 to get the pieces back.
Other penalties issued included:
• $1,800, for improperly declaring nearly $8,000 in video equipment used to analyze athletic performance, Pacific Highway, Aug. 9;
• $8,500, for failing to declare new vehicle tires and modifications, Pacific Highway, Aug. 19; and,
• $2,600, for failing to declare two watches worth a combined value of $8,600, Douglas, Aug. 30.
Two other travellers, including one Surrey resident, had thousands of dollars in cash seized and were fined, after failing to report $25,000 and $16,000, respectively, in cash to officers at the Douglas border.