Winery owner charged in Canadian export crime

The owner of the recently announced Footstone Jive Winery in Jacksonville is one of two West Vancouver, British Columbia, residents charged this week with trying to export technology that might have military applications, according to the Canada Border Services Agency.

Steven de Jaray, 53, who this month announced plans to open the winery, and Perienne de Jaray, 26, a relative, were charged with exporting goods or technology subject to export controls without a permit and falling to report commercial goods for export.

De Jaray could not immediately be reached for comment.

The charges filed in Richmond Provincial Court came after border agents at Vancouver International Airport checked two packages destined for Hong Kong in December 2008 and found 5,100 electronic chips being shipped without a permit. It is alleged the pair declared the packages’ value at $1,375, but Canadian officials later fixed the value at $200,000.

The two types of electronic chips were examined by officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada who discovered they were include on the Export Control List and were considered commercial-civilian products that also could be used for military applications.

In February 2009, the CBSA Criminal Investigations Division executed search warrants on the exporter’s residence and business. It was not immediately clear why the charges came so much later.

The Export and Import Permits Act charge carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and a fine in an amount set by the court.

The Customs Act charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

In 2004, Steven de Jaray was disciplined by the British Columbia Securities Commission, banned from involvement in publicly traded companies for nine years and fined $100,000.

— Greg Stiles

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