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Getting diamond ring back may cost couple $236,963
It was an extremely expensive lesson for a husband and wife who didn’t get their stories straight, and one that will likely get him put in the doghouse for quite some time.
Last March, Ruo Lin Zhang flew back in to Vancouver International Airport after a trip to China.
Employing the handy automated border clearance kiosk, she declared $600 worth of goods purchased outside of Canada.
But Zhang was pulled aside by a border services officer for a secondary examination.
During the exam, the officer found a ring Zhang had in her luggage, which contained smaller diamonds.
She claimed the ring was old, so the officer called Zhang’s husband in China to confirm her story.
Instead, Zhang’s husband described a completely different ring with one large diamond that he had just given her.
That prompted Zhang to confess she did receive a large diamond ring as a gift on the trip, but claimed she didn’t bring it with her.
However, as the officer began to re-examine her luggage, Zhang reached into a paper booklet and pulled out a ring with one large diamond, then admitted she had received it from her husband.
The ring was seized and appraised with a value for duty of $258,060.
On Wednesday, Zhang pled guilty in Richmond provincial court to duty evasion.
She was fined $30,515.
But Zhang will have to pay Canada Border Services another penalty in the range of 25 to 80 per cent of the value of the item seized.
In this case, that means a further penalty of at least $64,515 and up to $206,448.
Travellers are reminded to truthfully declare all their purchases made outside Canada, said Canada Border Services Agency spokesperson Faith St. John.
Undervaluation and other Customs Act offences may lead to seizure and/or prosecution in court.