Canada has a major problem with stolen vehicles and ever seven minutes a stolen car leaves the country, smuggled in shipping containers and destined for locations around the world.
For border officers, the system is not helping them prevent stolen vehicles leaving the country. Under their current powers, border police are located at Canadian ports and can seize vehicles that are suspected to be stolen, before calling police to investigate.
However, according internal emails discovered by Global News, the system is broken at the Port of Montreal. The city’s port is important as the biggest and busiest port in eastern Canada. According to the report, police forces are not investigating vehicles discovered by the Canada Border Services Agency that are suspected to be stolen.
CBSA claims in the email that it cannot hold cars if the police do not arrive to investigate them, allowing many stolen vehicles to freely move to other nations.
“It’s a huge concern,” said Jean-Pierre Fortin, national president of the Customs and Immigration Union. “And this has been going on for over a year right now.”
The email says the CBSA is having to release vehicles that are highly likely to be stolen because police in the city “are declining to attend”.
“If it should become a media topic, the onus and negative media attention would fall on the police.”
“The police should understand that our mandate is to report our findings to them as far as for the stolen vehicle file, and take action based on their answer,” the official wrote.
“If they are not interested in attending, even at a later date, then our mandate to report, for the stolen vehicle file, is fulfilled and since they cannot attend then we would have to release the goods.”