CANADA Border Services Agency (CBSA) on Thursday said that its border services officers (BSOs) at the Abbotsford-Huntingdon port of entry (POE) seized a total of 55 firearms last year.

BSOs executed 271 seizure actions, including 163 narcotic seizures, and refused entry to foreign nationals on 641 occurrences.

The BSOs  processed more than 1,513,000 travellers in over 804,000 cars and 111,000 commercial trucks.

Some highlights:

* On April 21, a suspected explosive device was discovered during a secondary examination of a traveller’s vehicle. The RCMP’s Explosives Disposal Unit arrived on site and deemed the suspected explosive device safe (inert). In addition to the inert grenade, BSOs seized prohibited magazines, ammunition, a small artillery round, pepper spray and a bulletproof vest. The traveller was denied entry into Canada and returned to the United States.

* On June 9, two United States residents were seeking entry to Canada, en route to Alaska. Inside the travellers’ truck and trailer, BSOs discovered and seized five handguns, eight rifles, two shotguns and multiple prohibited magazines. After paying a seizure penalty of $8,500, the travellers were permitted to enter Canada. Additionally, the CBSA’s Criminal Investigations Section recommended charges under the Customs Act and the Criminal Code in Abbotsford Provincial Court against the traveller who took ownership of the firearms. * On June 22, during a secondary examination of a pickup truck, BSOs discovered a person hiding in the back. The driver was charged with misrepresentation under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the hidden passenger was charged with eluding under the IRPA. Both pled guilty and received a five-day jail sentence.

In addition to the enforcement highlights, employees at the Abbotsford-Huntingdon POE raised over $19,000 for the Government of Canada Charitable Workplace Campaign. The funds raised support families in the community, the United Way of the Lower Mainland and many other worthy causes.

“We had a busy year with various enforcement actions and charitable work. I am very proud of our team of officers and employees who dedicate each day to protecting the safety and security of Canadians while giving back to the community,” said Ryan Vanderstar, Chief of Operations, Abbotsford-Huntingdon port of entry, CBSA.

Anyone with information about suspicious cross-border activity is encouraged to call the CBSA Border Watch Toll-free Line at 1-888-502-9060.