The Canadian Border Services Agency has been busy at crossings in the Okanagan and Kootenay District (OK&K District).
A May 10 press release detailed some of the enforcement activities that have transpired lately: Since January, the OK&K District has declined entry to over 300 individuals under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
Many travellers seeking to enter Canada were inadmissible due to criminal records found during background checks. During the month of April alone, CBSA officers in the OK&K District made 14 weapon seizures.
Maria Ivancic, CBSA communications advisor for the Pacific Region (encompassing all of B.C. and the Yukon) was reached by telephone on Friday, May 10.
“It’s been a busy spring,” said Ivancic. “Most of our undeclared firearms — at the land borders at least — are usually personal firearms that travellers from the U.S. are bringing through to Canada and beyond.”
On April 18, for example, a U.S. resident seeking entry to Canada via the Osoyoos crossing (in transit to Alaska) declared no firearms, only ammunition to an officer at the primary inspection line.
During an examination of the traveller’s truck and enclosed trailer, however, a number of items prohibited in Canada were found, including: a .25 calibre semi-automatic pistol, a set of brass knuckles, two switchblade knives, one large twin drum magazine, 41 high capacity rifle magazines and 19 high capacity pistol magazines.
The traveller was arrested for smuggling a prohibited firearm, prohibited weapons and prohibited devices, which were all seized. That investigation remains ongoing.
But it’s not always Americans.
In Osoyoos on April 4, a Canadian resident was examined by officers while returning from a trip to the United States.
A search of the vehicle discovered firearm parts for two fully automatic machine guns hidden throughout his motorhome. Both guns require import permits that were not obtained.
So far this year, Border Services Officers in the OK&K District have also conducted 151 non-weapon seizures including narcotics, vehicles, and other miscellaneous goods.
Information about prohibited items, duties and taxes, acceptable identification and what to declare at Canadian border crossings can be viewed the CBSA website: http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/cpr-crp-eng.html