CORNWALL, ON, Sept. 8, 2016 /CNW/ - Three (3) separate investigations undertaken by the Cornwall Regional Task Force (CRTF) during the month of August lead to the shoreline seizure of approximately 2,260 kilograms of contraband fine cut tobacco. During these investigations, the contraband was transported by suspect vessels along the St. Lawrence River to various shoreline properties where the product was unloaded and transferred to awaiting vehicles. Police successfully moved in to effect the arrests of the four (4) males and three (3) females involved in this illicit activity. All individuals ranging in age from 18 to 42 are from either the province of Ontario or Quebec. In addition to the contraband seized, various conveyances, most notably a 2016 Hyundai Elantra, were seized.
The CRTF was also called to Cornwall's Port of Entry (POE) on two (2) separate occasions to process contraband fine cut tobacco seizures stemming from domestic travelers. During these investigations, two males, a young person from New York and a male from Cornwall, Ontario were arrested. Police seized approximately 595 kilograms of contraband fine cut tobacco along with their respective conveyances.
"As demonstrated by our recent investigations, criminal organizations continue to be involved in the movement of illicit tobacco by whatever means they feel is safe", said Inspector Steve Ethier, Officer in charge of the CRTF, "With public and partner support, we will continue to have a strong presence along our borders in our quest of maintaining a safe Canada."
The individuals mentioned above, who have been charged under the provisions of the Excise Act, 2001, may face charges under the provincial Tobacco Tax Act for possession of unmarked cigarettes.
If you have any information regarding these crimes or any other criminal activity in your area, please contact your local police service or reach out to an investigator with the CRTF at 1-613-937-2800 or 1-800-387-0020.
The CRTF is a joint forces partnership that includes the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ontario Provincial Police and the Ontario Ministry of Finance.
SOURCE Cornwall Regional Task Force
For further information: Cst. Jean Juneau, Cornwall RTF, 613-937-2800, ext. 258; A/Sgt. Angela Atkinson, Ontario Provincial Police, 613-285-2750