A man who tried to sneak some tires across the Saskatchewan border by tucking them under bales of hay is among a long list of people paying fines for not declaring everything they were bringing back to Canada in December.

The errant ways of travellers at Saskatchewan's border crossings were reported Tuesday in a selected summary of activities by agents of the Canada Border Services Agency.

The agency provided the information to remind people about the importance of making accurate declarations and to demonstrate how they are “working to protect the safety and security of Canadians”.

The man with the tires in the hay arrived at the border Dec. 8, where he said he had six horses with him, worth $7,000 US. He also said he had another $8,000 US in personal goods. However, according to the CBSA the traveller neglected to mention four tires, worth around $500 US, underneath hay bales in the horse trailer.

Upon further examination the border agents learned the man also failed to mention that he had some work done on his truck and purchased another six tires.  He was fined almost $400. The CBSA said if the man been truthful, he would have only have had to pay GST on the items, of less than $80.

The December report highlighted several other cases of improper reporting, including:

  • Travellers who bought a dog in the US, claiming it was worth $500 US, but then admitted it actually cost them $1,900 US. They were given penalties of $800. A proper declaration would have led to just $95 in GST.
  • A traveller who tried to bring in a cell phone, coffee maker, beauty products, clothes and cigarettes. The total value was $900 US. The penalty imposed was $670. A proper declaration would have attracted just $50 of GST.
  • A family arrived at the border and said they had $1,600 in goods, as well as 42 cans of beer. When officers checked receipts, however, things didn't add up. They also found a $230 pair of sunglasses, that was not declared. The penalty imposed was $230. A proper declaration would have attracted just $20 in GST.

In addition to checking goods at the border, the CBSA also kept an eye out for people who should not be let into Canada.

The highlights for December included many examples of so-called inadmissible people being turned away, including:

  • Two truck drivers from North Carolina and Texas who were delivering vehicles to Canada. Checks revealed that the North Carolina man had been convicted of drug charges related to cocaine and marijuana, and was also facing a drunk-driving charge. The Texas man admitted to agents that he had some active criminal charges, including assault, street fighting and more. Both drivers were refused entry.
  • A 21-year-old Texas man was travelling to meet his 17-year-old girlfriend for the first time. Officers investigated and learned the youth's parents did not know about the visit. The officers also found evidence suggesting the man planned to bring the girl back to the United States. He was denied entry and the border agents notified the RCMP of their findings.
  • A 40-year-old woman arrived at the border but she had two outstanding charges of drunk driving still before the courts, as well as a conviction for driving with a suspended license. She was inadmissible and returned to North Dakota.
  • A North Dakota man arrived at the border and said had never been refused entry at the border and was not carrying any prohibited weapons. However, it turned out the man had been refused entry in the past. Officers also found some pepper spray and a prohibited weapon in his vehicle. He was issued a penalty of $500 and returned to the United States.
  • On Dec. 25 a 43-year-old man showed up at the border and said was on his way to Estevan for lunch and to see moose. However, the officers found he had a serious criminal conviction in the US, and was also facing charges for damage to property and fraud. He was turned back at the border.

Border activity in December

20,150 travellers,
6,163 cars and
8,430 commercial trucks
were processed

Entry was refused to 32 people, including 17 for previous criminal records.

55 work permits and
7 study permits were issued.

Permanent resident status was granted to 225 people.

SOURCE: Canada Border Services Agency

Infographic by Andre Mougeot/CBC