Cornwall RCMP Detachment working with various law enforcement partners Seize 1,160,000 Contraband Cigarettes and 690.4 Kilograms of Fine Cut Tobacco



    CORNWALL, ON, June 13 /CNW/ - On June 3rd, 2008, at 11:30 a.m., officers
from the Cornwall RCMP Detachment working with their partners from the Canada
Border Services Agency and the Ontario Provincial Police observed a 2000
Pontiac Van travel from Akwesasne, Ontario towards Cornwall. The officers
followed the van and observed the driver abandon the van in front of a
residence located on Lourdes Avenue in Cornwall, Ontario. RCMP officers
approached the van and observed it to be full of cardboard boxes of contraband
cigarettes. The officers seized 1,500 re-sealable bags of contraband
cigarettes which represents 300,000 cigarettes worth $33,000. The RCMP also
seized the van valued at $4,325. The driver was not located and the
investigation continues.
    At 4:18 p.m. on June 3rd, 2008, intelligence officers from the Canada
Border Services Agency observed a 2001 Dodge Ram pick-up truck travel from
Akwesasne, Ontario towards Cornwall. Officers from the Cornwall RCMP
detachment and the Ontario Provincial Police stopped the truck on Highway 138
in South Stormont, Ontario. RCMP officers seized 1,450 re-sealable bags of
contraband cigarettes which represents 290,000 cigarettes worth $31,900. The
driver, a 41 year old male resident of South Branch Road in Cornwall, Ontario
as well as the 23 year old female passenger, who is a resident of Walton
Street in Cornwall, Ontario were arrested and will be charged by the RCMP for
possession of a tobacco product not properly stamped according to the Excise
Act 2001. They were released and will appear at the Cornwall court on
July 14th, 2008. The RCMP also seized the truck valued at $5,675.
    Later, on June 3rd, 2008, at 6:30 p.m., intelligence officers from the
Canada Border Services Agency observed a 1998 Dodge Caravan travel from
Akwesasne, Ontario towards Cornwall. Officers from the Ontario Provincial
Police stopped the van on Power Dam Drive in Cornwall, Ontario. While the
officer questioned the driver he could smell the odour of tobacco and observed
a black tarp covering garbage bags of fine cut tobacco. The RCMP officers
seized several garbage bags that contained 690.4 kilograms of fine cut tobacco
valued at $62,136. The driver, a 40 year old male resident of Kahnawake,
Quebec, was arrested and will be charged by the RCMP for possession of a
tobacco product not properly stamped according to the Excise Act 2001. He was
released and will appear at the Cornwall court on July 10th, 2008. The RCMP
also seized the van valued at $2,975.
    On June 4th, 2008, at 6:32 p.m., intelligence officers from the Canada
Border Services Agency observed a 1993 Nissan travel from Akwesasne, Ontario
towards Cornwall. Officers from the Ontario Provincial Police stopped the
vehicle on Sydney Street in Cornwall, Ontario. RCMP officers attended the
scene and seized 2,100 re-sealable bags of contraband cigarettes which
represents 420,000 cigarettes worth $46,200. The driver, a 37 year old male
resident of Lawrence Avenue in Cornwall, Ontario, was arrested and will be
charged by the RCMP for possession of a tobacco product not properly stamped
according to the Excise Act 2001. He was released and will appear at the
Cornwall court on July 21st, 2008. The RCMP also seized the vehicle valued at
$750.
    Finally, on June 5th, 2008, at 12:50 p.m., an officer from the Ontario
Ministry of Revenue observed a 2000 Chevrolet Cavalier travel from Akwesasne,
Ontario towards Cornwall. He observed the vehicle park in a driveway at a
residence located on Aubin Avenue in Cornwall, Ontario where the driver was
observed leaving the vehicle. An RCMP officer attended the scene and observed
the vehicle to contain re-sealable bags of contraband cigarettes. The RCMP
officers seized 750 re-sealable bags of Discount brand full flavour cigarettes
which represents 150,000 cigarettes valued at $16,500. The RCMP also seized
the vehicle valued at $3,225. The driver was not located and the investigation
continues. All of the tobacco seized during these operations is believed to
have been manufactured in the United States and smuggled into Canada.
    "One of the main reasons we are seeing more seizures is because law
enforcement on both sides of the border and within Canada are partnering
more," states Sgt. Michael Harvey of the RCMP. "We have better integrated
intelligence and more integrated operations."





For further information:

For further information: Sgt. Michael Harvey, Cornwall RCMP Detachment,
(613) 937-2831


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