Contraband Tobacco Seized From Three Businesses



    Surveillance Operations and Inspections Lead To Convictions Under Tobacco
    Tax Act

    HAMILTON, ON, June 11 /CNW/ - Three Hamilton-area residents were
convicted in separate incidents as a result of Ministry of Finance
investigations.
    On May 15, Mohammed Gabr, director of 1649729 Ontario Inc. operating as
Petro Green, pleaded guilty to possessing unmarked cigarettes contrary to the
Tobacco Tax Act. Court was told that following a 2006 surveillance operation
by the Ministry of Finance and RCMP, 23,625 unmarked cigarettes were seized
from the Toronto gas station and convenience store. Gabr was fined $2,000 and
ordered to pay a surcharge of $500 to the Ontario Victims' Justice Fund. An
additional $500 fine was imposed under the Excise Act, 2001.
    On May 22, Yen Do Ta, owner of Elizabeth Variety & Deli, pleaded guilty
and was convicted of possessing untaxed cigarettes for the purposes of sale.
She was ordered to pay $2,000 in fines, court costs and a payment of $500 to
the Ontario Victims' Justice Fund. Investigators seized 8,900 unmarked
cigarettes from Elizabeth Variety & Deli in January 2007.
    In October 2006, 15,130 grams of untaxed tobacco was seized from Farah
Foods No.24. Basil Farah pleaded guilty to a charge under the Tobacco Tax Act
on behalf of 708073 Ontario Inc. on May 22 and was fined $3,500 and ordered to
pay a surcharge of $875 to the Ontario Victims' Justice Fund.
    Vigorous enforcement of the Tobacco Tax Act is an important component of
the Ontario government's Smoke-Free Ontario strategy. The Government of
Ontario has many enforcement measures to discourage the sale of contraband
tobacco and has strengthened the Tobacco Tax Act with new inspection and
seizure powers, new offence provisions, increased fines and civil penalties,
and provisions that permit tax investigators to share intelligence information
with police and other agencies that enforce tobacco-related laws.
    In the 2007 Budget, the McGuinty government proposed to further enhance
enforcement measures by temporarily suspending tobacco sales privileges of
retailers who repeatedly contravene the Tobacco Tax Act or the Smoke-Free
Ontario Act.

    Disponible en français

    
                 For more information visit www.fin.gov.on.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Scott Blodgett, Ministry of Finance, Ministry
of Revenue, (416) 325-0324

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