Tougher Enforcement Measures Strengthen Tobacco Tax Act And Increase
TORONTO, June 22 /CNW/ - Investigators from the Ministry of Revenue
uncovered three separate incidents of illegal tobacco activities in the GTA,
confiscating an estimated $1.75 million in tobacco.
On May 25, Kyung-Tae Kim of Toronto pleaded guilty to possessing tobacco
without the proper permits or designations under the Tobacco Tax Act. Ministry
investigators detained Kyung-Tae Kim's vehicle and seized 10,520 cigars and
11,833 grams of other tobacco. Kim was fined $5,444.97 and ordered to pay a
$1,361 surcharge to the Ontario Victims' Justice Fund.
On May 29 in Whitby, Zia Brenjanipour of Aurora pleaded guilty to
possessing 1,400 unmarked cigarettes, 541 cartons of marked cigarettes and
14,285 cigars without legal authority. A surveillance operation prompted
ministry investigators to detain Brenjanipour's vehicle and seize the illegal
tobacco. Brenjanipour was fined $4,182.70 plus ordered to pay a $1,045.67
surcharge to the Ontario's Victims' Justice Fund.
On June 4 in Whitby, Jeyachandrakanthan Selvanayagam, director of
1586687 Ontario Inc., an Oshawa convenience store operating as Smokers Ways,
pleaded guilty to possessing 5,204,491 cigarettes unlawfully. In addition to
the tobacco offences, Selvanayagam pleaded guilty to making false entries in
his books to avoid the payment of tax under the Corporations Tax Act.
After conducting surveillance and obtaining search warrants, Ministry of
Revenue investigators uncovered two sets of records created to hide the sale
and income from illegally acquired tobacco. Selvanayagam was fined $22,733
plus a $5,683.25 surcharge to the Ontario's 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 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.
The McGuinty government is proposing 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.
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For more information visit www.rev.gov.on.ca
For further information:
For further information: Scott Blodgett, Ministry of Finance, Ministry
of Revenue, (416) 325-0324