Customs agents target marine containers for contraband

TORONTO (Sept. 14, 2000) — Marine containers are far and away the preferred method of smuggling contraband into Canada, according to the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency.

Over the past decade, $6.2 billion in drug seizures were made by Canada Customs. Of these, 45% percent or $2.8 billion were made in marine containers. Consequently, Canada Customs said it would step up inspections of containers arriving in Canada to protect Canadians from smuggled drugs and other types of dangerous goods.

Currently, Canada Customs examines approximately 2% of all marine containers entering Canada.

Although seizure statistics fluctuate due to growing seasons, smuggling trends, and market demand, between January and July of this year Canada Customs has experienced an increase in drug seizures in many modes of traffic, including marine containers. To date, Customs has seized over $400 million in drugs, $270 million of which was concealed in marine containers and vessels. This is an increase from the $105 million seized in marine in 1999 and $79 million seized in 1998.

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