Reports from Canada said a supervisor at a Niagara Falls border crossing was fired after accepting a bribe worth $10,000 in backstage passes to Justin Bieber’s shows.
The Canadian Border Services Agency fired the guard after she allegedly took the bribe from someone in the Canadian pop star’s entourage, the Huffington Post (Canada) said.
The guard allegedly allowed two American members of Bieber’s entourage with criminal records to enter Canada.
“Foreigners with criminal convictions can be turned away from Canada. Bieber, who is facing criminal charges, can not be stopped from returning since he’s a Canadian citizen,” the story said.
In addition to violating Canadian law, bribes by Americans or others to Canada border guards could violate the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The FCPA prohibits corrupt payments to foreign officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business or gaining an unfair advantage.
Individuals convicted of violating the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA can be jailed up to five years.
Payments to immigration officials in exchange for special treatment have been cited in FCPA enforcement actions.
The incident apparently came to light when friends of Bieber showed up at the same crossing weeks later expecting similar treatment. That’s when on-duty officers blew the whistle, TMZ said.
The allegations against the guard include “accepting gifts, hospitality and other benefits; acceptances of travel offer from a third party and misuse of government electronic networks; abuse of authority; and, engaging in preferential treatment,” a spokesperson for the CBSA told HuffPo.
An August 12 memo from the border agency’s chief urged officers to report any suspicious behavior by other officers. It said allegations against a guard from the unit that includes the Niagara Falls crossing were under investigation.
The memo didn’t identify the officer involved.
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.