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Cash, guns, drugs seized at borders
Two women who failed to tell officers that cash they were carrying was earned at a marijuana cultivation site were among nearly 400 travellers denied entry to Canada recently.
According to Canada Border Services Agency, the pair arrived at the Pacific Highway port by bus on Nov. 10. One had about US$8,000, mostly in $20s; the other had receipts detailing a recent bank deposit of US$8,000.
Through questioning, guards determined that the women had earned US$10,000 each at a site in California. The cash was seized as suspected proceeds of crime.
An undeclared cash cache was also discovered Nov. 15, when guards at the Douglas (Peace Arch) border examined two travellers returning to Canada. The officers found approximately $11,000 on one traveller and about $22,000 on the other.
“The two men admitted that they had gone to the United States to gamble and had won the majority of these funds,” Canada Border Services Agency spokesperson Faith St. John stated in a news release.
The men were each fined $250 for failing to declare the money.
A bounty of firearms and other prohibited weapons was also seized at the borders in November – 114 throughout the Pacific Highway District.
The seizures included six high-capacity gun magazines from a package addressed to an individual in Alberta (Nov. 1 at Pacific Highway); a 12-gauge shotgun (Nov. 4, at Pacific Highway); a handgun loaded with 12 hollow-point rounds, and an over-capacity magazine (Nov. 7, at Douglas); and, a loaded, 40-calibre semi-automatic pistol (Nov. 13, Pacific Highway).
The traveller with the shotgun had his Nexus membership revoked as a result; a U.S. resident is facing charges including smuggling and possession of prohibited devices in connection with the handgun seizure; and four charges were laid against the traveller with the pistol.
Officers working at the Douglas border on Nov. 18 seized liquid heroin, glass pipes, a throwing knife, suspected black heroin and a baggie of suspected methamphetamine after intercepting a vehicle that was spotted trying to reverse from the Nexus barrier.
The travellers told the guards they were lost, St. John said. The vehicle was searched after officers determined that the driver was impaired by a drug.
Failure to properly declare purchases cost a number of travellers some extra cash in November, including three Canadians who neglected to disclose the purchase of a $12,328 designer purse. A penalty of $3,082 was levied – more than double what the traveller would have paid in duties and taxes had the purchase been properly declared.
Another Canadian was fined $10,445.49 after undervaluing the purchase of a vehicle. St. John said the traveller told a border officer at the Pacific Highway that he had paid US$27,000 for the luxury vehicle, when in fact, it had cost US$53,000.
Another was fined $13,296.84 after border guards found a falsified receipt in the vehicle of a northbound traveller at Douglas border. The receipt indicated the vehicle had been purchased for $2,700. During a search, however, officers found an invoice indicating $27,000 had been spent.
Properly declared, the purchase would have cost $1,350.