PLUG MAIL-SECURITY HOLES, EX-HEAD OF CSIS

By Guest · Jan 8, 2004 · ·
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    PLUG MAIL-SECURITY HOLES, EX-HEAD OF CSIS WARNS

    Conduits for criminals, terrorists

    OTTAWA -- Loopholes that allow guns and drugs to be mailed into Canada
    pose a security risk and must be "plugged" to thwart criminals and
    terrorists using the system, according to the former head of the
    Canadian Security Intelligence Service. Reid Morden yesterday told Sun
    Media law enforcement has been aware for years that the mail was an
    avenue used by criminals and that terrorists could be using it to move
    illegal goods into Canada.

    SMALL WEAPON

    "People who are associated with the terrorist business move drugs
    because it costs money to run operations," said Morden, who now heads
    up his own security consultant firm Reid Morden and Associates.

    "Heaven forbid if somebody even wanted to get some kind of a small
    weapon of one kind or another ... not necessarily for an operation
    that would take place in Canada, but perhaps so that somebody can take
    an airplane and go somewhere else and use it," he said.

    "That is more likely the problem."

    Morden's comments come after Sun Media revealed that Customs seizure
    reports from its five international mail inspection depots across the
    country show guns and drugs were being routinely mailed into Canada.

    Morden said the federal government should put international mail
    inspection at the top of its security priority list.

    "Clearly, people are prepared to use the mail for all sorts of other
    things these days, and I would think it would be moving toward the
    front burner. We plugged a number of holes in getting people and
    things across the border," Morden said.

    Security Minister Anne McLellan was not available for comment
    yesterday, but spokesman Alex Swann said reports of how the mail
    system is being abused by criminals is a concern.

    VIGILANCE REQUIRED

    "The minister and the agency continue to recognize that this is one
    area where we need to be vigilant. We've made investments and we'll
    continue to review trends in this area and we'll do what's appropriate
    with respect to law enforcement," Swann said.

    Alliance MP Rahim Jaffer said increased security measures being
    implemented at the border would warrant Canada Customs and Revenue
    Agency X-ray all international mail, not just the ones determined
    suspicious.

    Customs officers are prohibited by law from opening mail weighing less
    than 30 grams.

    ---

    POSTAL SEIZURES

    The Canada Customs and Revenue Agency has made 426 drug seizures at
    the Winnipeg post office between Jan. 1, 2002 and Oct. 19, 2003.

    DRUG SEIZURES VALUE

    Steroids 287 $96,585.78

    Ephedrine 109 $33,642.00

    Valium 3 $786.00

    Marijuana 2 $3,100.00

    Morphine base 2 $32,256.00

    Morphine 1 $20,000.00

    Barbiturate 1 $600.00

    Amphetamine 1 $300.00

    Khat 1 $33.60

    Other drugs 19 $1,902.00



    -- Canada Customs and Revenue Agency

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