COUTTS: It's always a busy and interesting time at the Alberta border crossings and
April was no exception. As usual, "honesty would have been the best policy" for
many of those facing fines.
April sees many Canadians who wintered in the U-S and Mexico returning home.
There were a total of 32 seizures across the region valued at more than $60,000
and resulted in $13,000 in penalties to travellers. The majority of these
seizures were related to vehicles, trailer, parts and modifications that were
During the month, 67,000 people entered Canada at Coutts. Of that number, 77
people were refused entry. During this same period there were more than 13,300
Along with several seizures for child pornography, one of the more
interesting incidents at Coutts, happened on April 5th. A 32-year-old man
and woman from Utah, who were moving to Alaska, tried to smuggle a firearm into
Canada. During an exam, CBSA officers found a handgun based on an AR15 assault
rifle action, but with a 15-inch barrel (above photo). The firearm was seized, the woman was
issued a $1,000 penalty and the couple proceeded into Canada.
On April 20th, an Alberta couple was returning from Arizona and declared
$1,990 of goods, cigarettes, alcohol and beer. During an examination of the
vehicle, one officer found an empty ring box with a price tag for $4,999, and a
receipt for another ring worth $1,000. The couple eventually admitted the rings
were purchased in Arizona. The rings were seized and a $1,267 penalty was
issued. Had they been truthful, they would have paid just $300 in GST for the
At Carway and Del Bonita border crossings, the big offences during April
were people refused admission to Canada for previous criminal convictions or
seeking to work illegally.