Confused by Cross-Border Confiscations? You're Not Alone

Jan 12th 2011 – 10:07AM
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Jacqueline Delange

Even the most seasoned travellers are bewildered by recent cross-border confiscation calamities. The rules are there for a reason, but the stricter they get, the stranger the infractions.

Just ask Lind Bird, whose Kinder Surprise Egg was confiscated by U.S. border officials earlier this week, the CBC reports. Officials claimed the plastic toy inside could choke a child, so they took it -- in addition to over 25,000 others in 2010.

That's not the only security upset in recent memory. Here's a list of other items authorities wouldn't let slide:

Rare Animals

Over the past few years, snakes have been found slithering in the bras, wine bottles and suitcases of rare animal smugglers. The most infamous case in memory occurred in October 2009 in Norway when a man's errant tarantula hinted at 24 reptiles taped to his person. At least we've gotten all of those 'snakes on a plane' jokes out of our system. Haven't we?


Canadians enjoyed a brief moment of schadenfreude when Russia's gold medal World Junior hockey champs were booted from their flight home for unruly behaviour.


Paranoia got the better of one Michigan gentleman who tried to smuggle his $19,901 casino winnings down from Windsor, unaware that it's not actually punishable to cross the border with a cash prize. However, it is illegal to avoid reporting over $10,000 at the border by dividing up the cash with a friend, which is what the man did. Sometimes, honesty is the best policy.

Christmas Joy

In December, Vancouver International Airport warned early-birds gift wrappers not to be shocked if security tore through their presents like it was Christmas morning. Security officials at Cardiff Airport even confiscated one traveller's Christmas turkey that was making its way to Spain.
Filed under: Canada
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