Jewelry seizures highlight busy month at border
In addition to processing more than 300,000 northbound travellers at the Douglas (Peace Arch) border last month, officers manning the crossing were kept busy with jewelry seizures, impaired drivers and an improperly declared car.
In highlighting a few incidents, Canada Border Services Agency’s Erin Steeksma noted one from Oct. 7 even sparked a criminal investigation into a Canadian resident.
Steeksma explained the step was taken after border officers examining a northbound vehicle discovered $22,000 worth of undeclared watches that had been purchased at the duty-free store. The watches were seized.
On Oct. 19, a man who failed to declare a $12,000 diamond solitaire ring was assessed nearly $4,000 in penalties. The fine was levied after officers discovered a jewelry store business card and an empty jewelry bag in the vehicle of a Canadian resident.
Another Canadian was made to pay close to $5,000 in fines after border guards determined a traveller had understated the value of a Porsche he was importing. Steeksma said the man, who arrived at the crossing Oct. 2, told officers he was bringing in a $35,000 car. Discrepancies in paperwork, however, determined a false receipt had been presented, and that the vehicle was actually worth nearly $50,000.
One of the border’s first impaired drivers of the month came to guards’ attention Oct. 2, when an officer noted the smell of liquor emanating from a vehicle occupied by two Canadians. After failing a roadside screening test, the driver was arrested.
Steeksma noted impaired-driving arrests are a common occurrence at the border. Guards at the Douglas crossing logged 80 such arrests from Sept. 1, 2010 to Sept. 1, 2011.