LONDON, ON, May 2, 2014 /CNW/ - The London Detachment of the Royal
Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have charged 9 persons after
investigating various groups that were allegedly involved in the
production and distribution of illegal tobacco.
The investigations began after the RCMP received information that
several Southwestern Ontario tobacco growers were involved in producing
more tobacco then they were legally allowed and selling the additional
tobacco through the 'black market'.
As the investigations unfolded, it was determined that various growers
and brokers were involved in the illegal sale of large amounts of raw
leaf tobacco as well as finished tobacco products. The RCMP employed a
number of police techniques during these investigations and executed
numerous search warrants to gather evidence.
Over the past week, members from the RCMP conducted numerous operations
throughout Southwestern Ontario which included the execution of 6
search warrants and the arrest of 9 persons. As a result of these
operations, and previous related seizures, we have seized:
6 trucks, 1 tractor, 1 car, 1 boat, 1 snowmobile and 1 motorcycle
Over 60 kgs of marihuana
950 marihuana plants
2 bricks of hashish
Small amounts of cocaine, Ketamine and MDMA
Large amounts of raw leaf tobacco worth over $300,000
As a result of these investigations, 9 people have been charged with
various offences relating to the sale and distribution of illegal
tobacco under the Criminal Code, the Excise Act (2001) and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The people arrested will be making court appearances over the next few
weeks and further arrests and charges are anticipated.
"Contraband tobacco introduces criminal activity directly into our communities and supports
the growth of an underground economy that poses a serious threat to
public safety," stated Superintendent Jamie Jagoe, Ontario RCMP -
Southwest District Commander. He added, "Profits from the sale of
contraband tobacco are often used to fund other illegal activities,
such as the movement of drugs, weapons and money laundering
Tobacco production and distribution is a highly regulated industry.
Growers are legislated to abide by rules governing the amount of
tobacco they can produce and distribute. For further information on
tobacco grower regulations please visit: http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/tax/tt/rawleaf.html
The RCMP would like to thank FINTRAC (Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada), RCMP in Quebec ("C" Division), the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Peel Regional
Police Service, Brantford Police Service, Hamilton/Niagara RCMP
Detachment, the Cornwall Regional Task Force (CRTF) and the Ontario Flue-Cured Tobacco Growers' Marketing Board for
their invaluable assistance during these investigations.
Anyone with information regarding criminal activity is encouraged to
contact their local police, the RCMP at 1-800-387-0020 or Crime
Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
For photos related to these investigations please visit the Ontario RCMP Newsroom.
SOURCE: Royal Canadian Mounted Police
For further information:
Sgt Richard Rollings
RCMP Media Relations
"O" Division (Ontario)
Website: RCMP in Ontario