Contraband Tobacco Supplies Seized in Southwestern Ontario
HAMILTON, ON, Aug. 31, 2012 /CNW/ - On August 15, 2012, while examining imported goods Officers at the Canada Border Services Agency discovered a container of what appeared to be cigarette packaging material. As a result, they contacted the Hamilton/Niagara RCMP who began an investigation. This shipment consisted of packaging for cigarette brands "disCount" and "Native" as well as Domestic Canadian brands. All would have been considered contraband in Canada.
If produced into contraband cigarettes, this would have produced approx two million cartons, representing tens of millions of dollars in evaded duties and taxes to the Federal and Provincial governments. This also affects the legal owners of the trademarked brands by depriving them of their profits and undermining the consumer's confidence in their brand.
This shows how the contraband tobacco problem in Canada is growing and adapting to increased enforcement efforts of the RCMP and its partners. Although no tobacco product is considered safe, those originating from un-licensed facilities could contain ingredients other than tobacco, increasing the health risk.
"The majority of contraband tobacco was thought to be smuggled through other localized areas," stated Inspector Steve Martin, Officer in Charge of the Hamilton/Niagara Regional RCMP Detachment. "However, this investigation has shown that the contraband producers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their efforts to confuse tobacco consumers as well as law enforcement. The cooperation and assistance of our various partners such as CBSA is an integral part of the RCMP's efforts to fight contraband tobacco."
"This is another greater example of how partnership between law enforcement agencies can work to advance public safety," said Goran Vragovic, Regional Director General of the Canada Border Service Agency. "This is part of the agency's efforts to fight crime and keep our communities safe."
The investigation is continuing.
Anyone with information regarding the sale and manufacturing of contraband tobacco is asked to contact the RCMP at 1-800-387-0020 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-265-4444.
SOURCE: Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceFor further information:
Sgt Michele Paradis
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
905-405-3750 ex 238
Greater Toronto Area Region
Canada Border Services Agency