“O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. We stand on guard for thee!”
Members of Justin Bieber’s entourage with criminal records allegedly used bribery to cross a Canadian border.
Two Canada Border Services Agency officers (CBSA) reportedly revealed a female chief at a Niagara Falls border crossing has been fired, for allegedly accepting up to $10,000 worth of palm-sweetening backstage passes to allow individuals in Bieber’s crew — some of whom reportedly have criminal records — to enter the country.
Under Canada’s immigration law, anyone convicted of an offence in Canada – or elsewhere (and considered a crime in Canada, including a drunk driving conviction), may be excluded as “criminally inadmissible.” A waiver of exclusion may be issued but weeks are required to arrange it and a processing fee must be paid, according to the Canadian embassy.
Although Bieber, 20, who hails from Stratford, Ontario, has a criminal record, he is a citizen and can’t be stopped from entering his native land.
NOW Toronto reports that the two CBSA officers – who spoke on condition of anonymity – said at least two Americans among Bieber’s crew with criminal records received temporary resident permits to enter Canada for several days to perform in shows.
The alleged bribery was exposed when a different group of Bieber’s friends turned up at the same border several weeks later expecting similar preferential treatment.
According to the source officers, the officer on duty notified internal authorities and did not play ball with the entourage members.
(Photo: Justin Bieber in Canada, January 29, 2014, surrendering before he was charged with assault at a Toronto police station.)
Since then, the CBSA president Luc Portelance and executive vice-president Nada Semaan issued a memo to all staff on August 12, confirming the Professional Standards Investigative Directorate are looking at claims of employee misconduct in the Southern Ontario Region.
“We know that this news comes as a disappointment to you, as it does to us,” it reads. “The vast majority of CBSA employees adhere to our high standards [&] are respectful of the trust placed in them by the people they serve.”
As well as pointing out policy breaches are unacceptable, the memo urged officers to report colleagues they suspect of breaking the rules to the CSBA’s Office of Values and Ethics.
NOW Toronto also cites CBSA spokeswoman Esme Bailey, who added the border incident involved allegations of:
“Accepting gifts, hospitality and other benefits, acceptances of travel offer from a third party, misuse of government electronic networks; abuse of authority; and engaging in preferential treatment.”
(Photo: CBSA Internal memo from bosses to staff, dated August 12.)
In a Tuesday email, that did not name the terminated chief, Bailey told the magazine:
“Behaviour that breaches these standards will not be tolerated. Upon learning of allegations of serious misconduct in the Southern Ontario Region, the Agency took immediate action.”
Bailey continued: “When behaviour falls short of these standards, individuals will be subject to disciplinary measures, up to and including termination of employment for cause.”
The spokeswoman added that an internal investigation is underway, but wouldn’t elaborate or discuss “the possibility of police involvement.” She also would not confirm or deny Bieber’s involvement.
It’s unclear when these alleged bribes took place. Bieber performed two sold-out concerts in Toronto last July and has been back to Canada several times since then.
The Inquisitr notes the singer has not been accused of any wrongdoing in these allegations.
At present, a Canadian Border Service Agency chief has been fired.
The ongoing investigation into which entourage members allegedly used bribes to cross into Canada and whoever else may have been involved – official or otherwise – continues.