February 2, 2016 11:33 am
Updated: February 2, 2016 9:03 pm

Drugs, stolen cars crossing border because of lax security: Auditor General

WATCH: Border security is a key issue, and at times, an irritant with our trading partners. But perhaps, it's with reason. Everything that goes out of Canada is supposed to be inspected for dangerous or stolen goods. And as Mike Le Couteur reports, a critical report says that's just not happening.

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Auditor general Michael Ferguson says the Canada Border Services Agency is not keeping a close enough eye on exports, causing high-risk shipments – including illegal drugs and stolen cars – to leave the country undetected.

In his latest report, the federal watchdog says the agency is not reviewing all export declarations and not examining many shipments that had been flagged by its own internal system _ or by warnings from other departments.

Up to 20 per cent of high-risk exports identified by the agency’s centralized targeting units were allowed to pass without inspection.

WATCH: There is more CBSA can do to improve management of exports says Auditor General

Much of the breakdown relates to staff levels; in some locations, inspections cease entirely if a single staff member goes away on vacation.

Ferguson also concludes that goods valued under $2,000 do not require a permit, but can be subject to random inspection. Even on that count, he says, the agency is falling down because of a lack of staff.

Small undeclared parcels are a popular means for drug traffickers to get their illicit goods out of the country, but Ferguson’s auditors found hunting for those shipments is not a priority under the current system.

WATCH: Auditor General says Border Services missed opportunities to stop export of unlawful goods

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© 2016 The Canadian Press

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