Truck driver fined for smuggling cheese into Canada

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Haissam Azaar, a truck driver was charged a $30,000 fine for attempting to smuggle thousands of kilograms of cheese through the Canadian border.

Haissam Azaar was caught with about 3,990 kg of cheese at the Thousand Islands border crossing in Lansdowne, Ont., on Jan. 10, 2018, according to a news release published by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

When CBSA officials referred Azaar for a secondary examination, they found eight skids of undeclared cheeses. He was arrested and charged for failing to mark imported goods under section 159 of the Customs Act.

According to the Customs Act, all goods that enter Canada must be declared to border officials. If someone fails to declare imported goods, their items could be seized, and they could be prosecuted and fined up to $50,000 and spend up to six months in jail.

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Azaar pleaded guilty and was sentenced at the court in Brockville, Ont., on May 9, 2019. He was ordered to pay a $30,000 fine, which he must pay back within five years, with a minimum payment of $1,000 a year.

Canada requires a permit and charges pricey tariffs for importers who want to import cheese into the country. Individuals are allowed to bring up to $20 worth of dairy products into the country. -CINEWS

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