Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Border services officers keeping busy at airport

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The first quarter of 2014 was a busy time for Canada Border Services Agency officers working at Manitoba's largest airport.

Data released by CBSA Thursday show more than 139,000 international travellers landed at Richardson International Airport between January and March. Officers at the airport issued 365 work permits, 31 study permits and nearly 20 people were refused entry -- five of those coming for criminal reasons.

The CBSA said there were 15 seizures of prohibited weapons, including 24 brass-knuckle purses taken late last month from a couple looking to sell them in Canada. Officers seized the purses with no condition of release.

Other weapons confiscated over the three-month period include switchblades, butterfly knives and two electroshock devices. Officers also made seven drug seizures in that span, including a Feb. 13 seizure of 500 steroid pills valued at $1,000. Among the other notable instances of travellers failing to declare goods and services to CBSA officers at the airport:

-- On Jan. 5, a man returning from Africa was busted with more than $10,000 worth of jewelry. He was fined nearly $3,300 for his failure to declare.

-- Three days earlier, a woman returned from a vacation in the United States. She was hit with a fine of nearly $2,000 for failing to declare more than $6,400 in purchases including clothing, jewelry and luggage.

Meanwhile, CBSA officers working the various Manitoba ports along the Canada-U.S. border processed more than 134,000 travellers in 51,000 cars and 25,300 commercial trucks in March.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 25, 2014 A12

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