Cornwall RCMP make Six Contraband Tobacco Seizures in Three Days



    CORNWALL, ON, Aug. 27 /CNW/ - Officers from the Cornwall RCMP working
with various law enforcement agencies have made six contraband tobacco
seizures in three days resulting in three individuals facing a charge for
possession of a tobacco product not properly stamped according to the Excise
Act 2001. The tobacco product seized are believed to have been smuggled into
Canada from the United States.
    On August 24th, 2009, RCMP officers observed suspicious activity near a
pathway on Haulage Street in Cornwall, Ontario. When officers approached the
pathway, they observed four unidentified males carrying hockey bags. The
officers identified themselves and the males dropped the bags, fled towards
the St. Lawrence River and boarded a boat that was off shore and fled.
Officers continued to search the bush area and seized 20 hockey bags
containing a total of 2,000 resealable bags of contraband cigarettes. While
recovering the bags, two males on personal water craft returned to the
shoreline and the RCMP Marine Security Enforcement Team attended the scene and
seized a 2008 Sea Doo GTI that was beached while the operator fled on foot.
The other personal water craft and operator fled the area. No arrests have
been made and the investigation continues.
    On August 25th,2009, RCMP officers followed a 1997 Ford Expedition towing
a 7.5 metre Avana 2500 cuddy boat in South Glengarry, Ontario. Officers
stopped the vehicle on Fraser Road. Investigation at the scene revealed that
there were cardboard boxes containing resealable bags of contraband cigarettes
located inside the sleeping area of the boat. The officers seized 3,297
resealable bags of contraband cigarettes, the Ford Expedition and the Avana
boat with trailer. The driver, a 39 year old male resident from Cornwall,
Ontario was arrested and will appear at the Alexandria court on November 4th,
2009.
    During the evening of August 25th, 2009, RCMP officers observed a vessel
on the St. Lawrence River near the shore close to the Kinsmen Soccer fields in
Cornwall, Ontario. The officers then observed two males walking back and forth
from the bicycle path to the Haulage Street entrance carrying a large black
bag. The officers then followed a 2000 Chevrolet Venture van from Haulage
Street and stopped the van on Cornwall Centre Road. Officers seized 301
resealable bags of contraband cigarettes located inside the van as well as the
vehicle. The 59 year old driver and the 22 year old passenger, both residents
from Gatineau, Quebec were arrested and will appear at the Cornwall court on
October 29th, 2009. The passenger will also face a Criminal Code charge for
breaching the conditions of a previous probation order.
    On August 26th, 2009, RCMP officers were called to the Port of Entry
located in Cornwall, Ontario to seize a 2000 Ford F-150 pick-up truck that was
abandoned by the driver. RCMP officers also seized 1,150 cartons of Discount
Full Flavor cigarettes located inside the truck. No arrests were made and the
investigation continues.
    Later on the same date, officers from the Canada Border Services Agency
at the Cornwall Port of Entry inspected a 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix and located
contraband cigarettes inside the trunk of the vehicle. RCMP officers were
contacted to assist and seized the 600 resealable bags of contraband
cigarettes as well as the vehicle. The driver, a 32 year old female resident
from Akwesasne, Ontario was arrested and released and this investigation
continues.
    Finally, on the same date, while officers from the Canada Border Services
Agency at the Cornwall Port of Entry were inspecting a 2001 Ford Crown
Victoria, the driver sped away from the inspection lane. Shortly afterwards,
RCMP officers located the vehicle abandoned in a parking lot of a Brookdale
Avenue shopping centre. The officers seized 700 resealable bags of contraband
cigarettes as well as the vehicle. The driver was not located and the
investigation continues.
    "There is a risk to public safety when operators of vessels at night on
the St. Lawrence River are not using any lights and cannot be seen by other
boaters or ships", said Sgt. Michael Harvey from the RCMP.
    "There is also a risk to the public when vehicles speed away from law
enforcement during their interdiction with a driver. This is not just about
saving money on a carton of cigarettes. The buyers of illicit tobacco products
are fueling this unsafe environment."





For further information:

For further information: Sgt. Michael Harvey, RCMP Cornwall Detachment,
office: (613) 937-2831, cell: (613) 551-0747


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