COUTTS: It's always busy at Alberta border crossings and June was no exception.
Canada Border Services officers processed more than 43,200 travellers in 20,850
cars and more than 13,400 commercial trucks at the port of Coutts, and almost
17,900 travellers in 8,000 cars and 89 commercial trucks at the port of Carway.
At the two ports, officers also refused entry to 154 people because of
There are cases that continually appear before border officers which
are costly but, very preventable. It's best to just tell the truth about what
you bought - in the long run, it would turn out to be much less expensive. What
follows, is a recap of the June cases where fibbing to border guards was much
more expensive than it should have been:
On June 2nd, a 25-year-old Alberta man presented a bill
of sale for an SUV at US$5,000. However, officers determined the actual value
was US$9,500, and uncovered bank records for a withdrawal of that amount. The
man maintained his original declaration and stated he had lost the remaining
money at a casino in Las Vegas but, later admitted his undervaluation, and was
issued a penalty of more than $1,150. Had he been truthful, he would have paid
approximately $500 in GST.
On June 3, a 31-year-old Saskatchewan man was importing
a towed truck declared at US$5,000, and presented a bill of sale. When the man
entered the office to begin the importation process, he produced another bill
for US$15,000. He was very apologetic for being untruthful, saying he had wanted
to save taxes. The man was issued a penalty of more than $2,550 and left the
port. He would have paid approximately $250 in GST, had he been
On June 5th, a 39-year-old Alberta woman was importing
13 horses, yet failed to declare polo equipment, a saddle, a tent, golf clubs,
and mallets in her trailer, valued at US$4,500 in total. She said she did not
think she needed to declare them because they were for training purposes. The
woman also failed to report US$1,600 in vehicle repairs. She was issued a
penalty of approximately $1,050. If she had provided an accurate declaration,
she would have paid approximately $225 in GST for the trailer
On June 7, a 29-year-old B-C man declared a pickup
truck at approximately $5,650. Officers determined the actual value was almost
$14,000, and issued the man a penalty of almost $4,500. Had he made an accurate
declaration, he would have paid less than $700 in GST.
Then, there are cases that just leave you shaking your
head in disbelief.
On June 30th, at the Chief Mountain border crossing,
a 20-year-old Colorado resident arrived on a pedal bike, en route to visit
a minor female in northern Alberta. Officers found suspected child pornography
on a mobile device. The man was arrested and turned over to RCMP, and will face
two criminal charges in court in October.
While working to protect Canadian Borders, officers at Coutts
took time to help one of their own. On June 21st, staff members at the port of
Coutts held a fundraiser dance and silent auction for fellow officer Ryan Enns (Photo below),
who is fighting blood cancer. In total, they raised more than $8,100 to support
his wife and three children while he is in hospital. Approximately 140 law
enforcement officers and locals attended, and businesses across southern and
central Alberta showed support by sponsoring the event.