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Girlfriend interrogated at YVR over boyfriend's Vegas winnings

Grilled over Vegas winnings

A Richmond resident says Canadian Border Services Agency agents needlessly “interrogated” her for 90 minutes after returning on a flight from Las Vegas.

Kamilla Fa says she was subjected to humiliating questioning in a private room at YVR because she declared $14,000 in winnings gifted to her by her Chinese boyfriend, who she met up with in Las Vegas.

After arriving at the airport Monday night, Fa, 32, claims female border guards refused to believe how she got the money, despite it being wrapped in casino tape inside a casino envelope.

Fa says the guards refused to believe she even had a boyfriend, before confiscating her phone.

All the while, her mother, Mila Vagabova, was outside waiting to pick her up and had no idea what was going on.

“They continuously asked me where the money came from; they didn’t believe my response. They said I was lying to them,” Fa said.

“They were trying to catch me lying and told me many times to my face that I was liar. They demanded I tell them the truth. I filled out a declaration form truthfully. I wasn’t hiding anything.

“They actually refused to believe my boyfriend existed and they wanted proof. They wanted his full name, they wanted to find him in their system, they wanted to know if he came to Canada before. He’s not Canadian and he doesn’t live in Canada.”

Fa, who “felt scared” during the grilling, said the guards continued to pressure her and demanded to know where her boyfriend of three months got his money to gamble with.

“They went through everything, including my underwear. They said they were looking for evidence of criminal activity.”

By 1:30 a.m., the border guards gave Fa her phone back, apparently along with a departing sarcastic remark.

“They still said I was lying. As I left, one of them said, ‘hopefully this boyfriend sticks around,’” said Fa, who filed a complaint with the CBSA on Tuesday. “I was shaking. I felt I had been harassed."

 

“There are billions of dollars getting funneled through money-laundering in B.C. and they come after my daughter with $14,000 of winnings from Vegas?" said her mother. “She has money and can travel, that is not a crime. She is a Canadian citizen and shouldn’t be treated like this.”

A CBSA supervisor has since called Fa, apologizing for her treatment.



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