Fort Erie, Ontario, May 3, 2012 – The Southern Ontario Region (SOR) had some of the busiest ports of entry in the country, processing over 4.2 million travellers in over 2.3 million vehicles during the months of February and March 2012.
The majority of SOR's services are provided at the Ambassador Bridge, Windsor-Detroit Tunnel, Blue Water Bridge, Peace Bridge, Queenston-Lewiston Bridge and Rainbow Bridge.
In February and March, border services officers in SOR examined 91,727 conveyances which led to over 454 enforcement actions including:
Officers also referred 274,750 travellers for further immigration processing which resulted in:
On February 14, 2012, CBSA officers examining a vehicle at Peace Bridge Traveller Operations discovered 42 packages concealed in the interior panels containing a total of 28 kilograms of marihuana which resulted in the arrest of a Scarborough, Ontario woman. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police attended and charges were laid.
On February 4, 2012, officers at the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel were examining the vehicle of a 45-year-old Michigan man when they discovered an undeclared handgun in a bag inside the console. He was charged with attempting to smuggle and possession of prohibited goods contrary to the Customs Act.
On February 7, 2012, border services officers from Peace Bridge Commercial Operations discovered 27 bottles of alcohol hidden throughout a cab when examining a truck and empty trailer. The alcohol was seized with no terms of release and the CBSA charged a Mississauga man with making false statements, wilfully evading the payment of duties and attempting to smuggle contrary to the Customs Act.
All currency and monetary instruments must be reported if they total $10,000 or greater in Canadian dollars or its equivalent. There is no limit in the amount of money an individual can bring in or take out of Canada provided it is reported upon exit or entry to Canada and the necessary report filed. When currency in excess of CAN$10,000 is discovered unreported, the currency is seized and the individual is afforded the right to appeal the seizure.
On February 1, 2012, a Wisconsin resident entered Canada at the Rainbow Bridge and declared US$6,000 in currency. Upon further examination, an additional US$26,537 was discovered hidden inside his socks located in his luggage. The currency was seized and returned to the subject once he paid the $2,500 terms of release. The individual was then returned to the United States.
On February 18, 2012, a Rockwood, Ontario man returning to Canada at the Queenston Bridge was referred to secondary examination when officers examining his vehicle discovered undeclared currency valued at CAN$38,728 concealed within compartments in the vehicle. The currency was seized and returned once the subject paid the $2,500 terms of release.
On March 4, 2012, officers referred a traveller entering Canada at the Blue Water Bridge. A search of his vehicle revealed a laptop computer and external hard drive containing images of child sexual abuse. After an investigation by the CBSA and the Ontario Provincial Police Child Sexual Exploitation Unit, a 25-year-old Michigan man was arrested and charged with one count each of possession of child pornography and importing child pornography contrary to the Criminal Code, and attempting to smuggle prohibited goods into Canada and unlawfully possessing prohibited goods contrary to the Customs Act.
On February 1, 2012, officers at the Ambassador Bridge were examining the vehicle of a Tennessee family when they became suspicious of the amount of personal belongings in their possession and of the purpose of their visit. Database checks revealed that the father, mother and child were all listed as "missing persons". After further investigation, the family was returned to United States Customs and Border Protection.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) facilitates the entry of legitimate travellers and goods, while protecting the safety and security of Canadians and ensuring that Canada's border is not used for illegal activity. Anyone with information about suspicious cross-border activity is encouraged to call the CBSA Border Watch Toll-free Line at 1-888-502-9060. All calls are completely confidential.
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For more information, please contact:
Canada Border Services Agency
Southern Ontario Region
Telephone: 905-354-2293 or 519-967-4330