The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is committed to keeping Canada safe from the threats posed by weapons and undeclared food and animal products. Today, the CBSA announced that border services officers seized eight undeclared firearms as well as numerous food, plant and animal products in the West Coast & Yukon District.
On May 25, 2021, two United States residents who were seeking entry to transit through Canada were referred for secondary examination. Border services officers conducted a search and seized firearms and firearm parts and detained food, plant and animal products outlined below:
Seven restricted firearms
One prohibited firearm
15 prohibited magazines
Three bobcat skins
One bear paw
Two seal skin hats
Seven pieces of whale baleen
Two ivory tusks
Two ivory ornaments
Two sheep horns
13 ivory pucks
One turkey talon
One bear skull
One walrus skull
Most of the detained animal products are protected goods under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Appendix I – III. CITES falls under Canada’s wildlife trade law – the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA).
The traveler who claimed ownership of these goods has been charged with the following:
s. 91(1) Criminal Code – one count of unauthorized possession of a firearm; s. 91(2) Criminal Code – one count of unauthorized possession of prohibited devices; s. 153(a) Customs Act – one count of making false statements; and s. 159(1) Customs Act – one count of smuggling.
In addition to the charges and having the prohibited items seized, the traveler was issued a $8,500 penalty by CBSA for the release of the seized vehicle. He is scheduled to appear in court on July 13, 2021.
Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) collected the wildlife items and issued two penalties, with a $1,200 fine, under WAPPRIITA.
“This seizure demonstrates the hard work and diligence of CBSA border services officers and their commitment to keeping firearms out of our communities as well as ensuring that endangered goods, without the proper import requirements, do not enter illegal trade in Canada,” said Darlene Klips, Director, West Coast & Yukon District, Pacific Region, Canada Border Services Agency.