CBSA Pacific Region: Operational and enforcement highlights from 2022
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Pacific Region today released operational and enforcement highlights covering the period from January 1 to October 31, 2022.
The Pacific Region is home to 43 land, air and marine ports of entry, including an international mail centre, Canada’s second busiest airport and largest marine port.
The Region has five districts (West Coast and Yukon, Okanagan and Kootenay, Metro Vancouver, Pacific Highway and Vancouver International Airport) and three divisions (Intelligence and Enforcement Operations, Trade Operations and Corporate, Programs and Integration Management).
Welcoming travellers into Canada
Between January 1 and October 31, 2022, the Pacific Region processed 11,441,510 travellers. This includes returning Canadians as well as international visitors and refugees, at our ports of entry. An increase of over 451.2% from January 1 to October 31,2021, which saw the region process 2,075,652 travellers.
As part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to provide permanent or temporary protection to individuals fleeing conflict or persecution in Afghanistan, officers from the Pacific Region processed four flights. From these flights, CBSA officers have welcomed 1,146 Afghan refugees.
Supporting the economy
Border services officers in the Pacific Region processed approximately 569,896 commercial trucks, and 20,536,392 courier shipments. From January 1 to October 31, the region also released 1,922,713 commercial shipments.
In August, a Senior Officer Trade Compliance (SOTC) with CBSA’s Trade Operations Division concluded a value verification on footwear. It was determined that the importer had falsely declared their costs and the company was directed to correct the value of their previous four years of imports. As a result, the CBSA recovered a total of $8,940,938 in customs duties, GST and interest.
The CBSA is committed to preventing illicit drugs and substances from entering Canada. The importation of precursor chemicals contributes to an increasingly toxic drug supply that continues to devastate families and our communities.
From January to July, Metro Vancouver District officers intercepted five shipments containing common precursor chemicals used to manufacture fentanyl and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also known as MDMA or ecstasy. These seizures were a result of examination referrals from the CBSA National Targeting Centre and have prevented an estimated two billion doses of often-lethal fentanyl and millions of doses of MDMA from reaching our communities.
- In May, Metro Vancouver District officers examined a shipment from China declared as toys and discovered 1,133 kilograms of a fentanyl precursor called Propionyl chloride, with the potential to produce over a billion doses of fentanyl.
- In June, Metro Vancouver District officers examined a shipment from China declared as various household goods and discovered 1,100 kilograms of a MDMA precursor called PMK Methyl Glycidate, which had the potential to produce over 3 million doses of MDMA.
- In June, Metro Vancouver District officers examined a shipment from China declared as children’s protective gear and discovered 338.5 kilograms of PMK Ethyl Glycidate. The chemicals had the potential to produce over a million doses of MDMA.
- In July, Metro Vancouver District officers examined a shipment from China declared as household goods and discovered 303 kilograms of PMK Ethyl Glycidate. The chemicals had the potential to produce over a million doses of MDMA.
In early 2022, Vancouver International Airport Air Cargo Operations officers intercepted approximately 70.7 kilograms of Propionyl chloride in a courier shipment. The chemicals had the potential to produce over 50 million doses of fentanyl.
Between January 1 and October 31, Vancouver International Airport Air Cargo Operations officers working with CBSA chemists have intercepted more than 250 shipments containing PMK Ethyl Glycidate. The combined weight of all the seizures is over 5,000 kilograms.
- In August, Vancouver International Airport Air Cargo officers intercepted a shipment containing 389.3 kilograms of PMK Ethyl Glycidate declared as pet shampoo. The chemicals had the potential to produce over a million doses of MDMA.
In June, a truck driver arrived at Aldergrove Commercial Operations, seeking entry into Canada. Examination of the truck’s cargo led to the discovery of 50 brick-shaped objects containing substances suspected to be illegal narcotics. Over 50 kilograms of suspected cocaine and one kilogram of suspected heroin were seized.
In support of fulfilling its enforcement mandate and protecting Canadian society, the Inland Enforcement Section was successful in the issuance of 124 deportation orders. Of the 124 orders, 14 were issued for inadmissibility under section 37 (organized crime), 11 for inadmissibility under section 34 (security) and 2 for inadmissibility under section 35 (human rights abuses). The remaining 97 orders were issued for inadmissibility under the criminality provisions. The issuance of these removal orders restricts applications to remain in Canada, thereby paving the way for increased and expedient removal from Canada.
The CBSA fights organized crime by focusing on firearms-related offences at the border. The CBSA in British Columbia (B.C.), made two significant seizures of “ghost guns” in the B.C. Interior, following interceptions at international mail centres. Between January 1 and October 31, 240 firearms were seized in the Pac Region.
- On April 27, the CBSA executed a search warrant in Kelowna, B.C. They seized evidence, along with six more handgun lower receivers with no serial number.
- On April 28, the CBSA executed a search warrant in Lumby, B.C. Investigators seized as evidence a loaded 9mm handgun with no serial number, nine non-restricted long guns, one prohibited knife, one stun gun, and four canisters of ammunition.
In May, at the Roosville port of entry, officers directed a traveller seeking entry into Canada to return to the United States (US) and counselled the traveller regarding the importation of firearms into Canada. Later in May, the traveller sought entry into Canada again and officers seized a “ghost gun”, which is a firearm that has no serial number, along with several over-capacity magazines loaded with 9mm ammunition. The subject was charged under the Customs Act and Criminal Code, resulting in over $9,300 in fines and victim surcharge.
In June, officers at the Discovery Harbour Marina in Campbell River marked the first CBSA seizure of fentanyl in the marine mode, seizing 322 fentanyl pills from a foreign fishing vessel. Officers also seized one restricted firearm, three over-capacity magazines, a prohibited butterfly knife and various cannabis products.
In August, officers helped to prevent child abduction at the Osoyoos port of entry. A Canadian resident returning with their child was unable to provide a custody agreement or a consent letter from the other parent to travel with the child. Due to previous interactions, officers were familiar with the subject and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) was contacted. Later, it was confirmed the child custody agreement was violated.
Collaborating with Indigenous communities
In October, the CBSA’s Okanagan and Kootenay District held an Indigenous engagement session to discuss cross border rules after the ArriveCAN requirement was no longer mandatory. Representatives from all Okanagan Nation Alliance bands shared their perspectives and issues with current cross border matters with the CBSA and the United States Customs and Border Protection (US CBP). This engagement session will occur twice a year to ensure continued dialogue and collaboration.
In July, the CBSA’s Pacific Region Indigenous Affairs Advisor participated in Awaken the Canoes - Tribal Journeys, a multi-day cross border journey for canoe families to reaffirm Indigenous traditions through sharing stories of their peoples and lands. The CBSA continues to work towards Reconciliation by building trust with Indigenous communities through meaningful relationships.
On September 1, the Indigenous interpretive signage at the Fraser port of entry was revealed and celebrated with the Taku River Tlingit First Nation. The CBSA engaged with the Taku River Tlingit First Nation on the upgrades being made to the Fraser port of entry as part of the Land Border Crossing Project. Over the course of the Fraser upgrades, a written collaborative arrangement was signed between the First Nation and the CBSA.
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