Recently, substantial fines were imposed on three truck drivers for illegally transporting alcohol and tobacco across the Blue Water Bridge. The operation uncovered significant quantities of contraband hidden within their vehicles as they attempted to cross the border.

During a routine check on July 10, 2023, border officials apprehended Veerapathira Maniyakaghan, a 56-year-old trucker from Brampton, after discovering 529 bottles of liquor in his truck, despite his declaration of only one bottle. The hidden stash, secured from floor to ceiling with ratchet straps, was valued at approximately US$14,000, potentially avoiding over $24,300 in Canadian duties. Maniyakaghan faced a court, where he was fined $30,000 after pleading guilty, a sum suggested by both the prosecution and defense given the severity of the smuggling effort.

On the same day, Senthuran Kandasamy, a 36-year-old driver from Ottawa, was caught with 72 bottles of high-end spirits, including Grey Goose vodka and Johnnie Walker Blue Label Scotch whisky. Claiming the liquor was for a large birthday celebration, Kandasamy attempted to bypass $5,061 in duties. He was subsequently fined $7,500 after his guilty plea.

Additionally, Huacheng Zhu, a 47-year-old trucker, was fined $1,000 on June 10, 2023, for attempting to smuggle 25 cartons of Marlboro cigarettes, significantly more than the seven cartons he initially claimed to have purchased. The deceit was unveiled after an officer verified his purchase at a duty-free store and discovered additional cartons cleverly hidden in his vehicle.

The confiscation of these goods marks a clear violation of border regulations, and the individuals involved have been sternly warned about future crossings. The incidents underscore the ongoing challenges faced by border officials in curbing smuggling activities that undermine the integrity of Canadian commerce and border security.

Alcohol and tobacco limits


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