RCMP, OPP and CBSA Joint Operations Lead to the Seizure of Contraband Tobacco Products



    CORNWALL, ON, Oct. 31 /CNW/ - Two Cornwall residents and two residents
from the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory are facing charges under the Excise Act
2001 for possession of a tobacco product not properly stamped as a result of a
joint operation between the Cornwall RCMP Detachment, the Ontario Provincial
Police (OPP) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
    On October 29th, 2008, at approximately 1:00 p.m., CBSA officers observed
a 2005 Dodge Ram travel from Akwesasne, Ontario. The vehicle was followed and
subsequently stopped by an OPP officer on Highway 401 eastbound. As the OPP
officer approached the driver, the vehicle sped away at a high rate of speed
and the OPP officer followed. The driver then drove into the median to avoid
being stopped and abandoned the vehicle at a marina located in South
Glengarry, Ontario. The driver and passenger fled the area and were not
located. RCMP officers were contacted to assist and seized the vehicle as well
as 15 garbage bags containing 302.8 kilograms of fine cut tobacco. The
investigation continues.
    On October 29th, 2008, at approximately 9:20 p.m., OPP officers were
conducting a RIDE operation in the area near Highway 401 and McConnell Avenue
in Cornwall, Ontario when the officers observed a 1998 Ford Crown Victoria
that was transporting cardboard boxes of contraband cigarettes. The RCMP were
contacted to assist and officers seized 1,000 resealable bags of contraband
cigarettes that represents 200,000 cigarettes. The 24 year old male driver
from Snye, Quebec was arrested and released to appear at the Cornwall court on
December 8th, 2008. He was also issued a Highway Traffic Act offence ticket by
the OPP for failing to surrender a driver's licence.
    On October 29th, 2008, at approximately 9:30 p.m., OPP officers observed
a 1998 Mercury Sable that was transporting cardboard boxes of contraband
cigarettes during the same RIDE operation. RCMP officers were contacted to
assist and they seized 998 resealable bags of contraband cigarettes that
represent 199,600 cigarettes. They also seized the vehicle. The 21 year old
male driver from Cornwall, Ontario was arrested and released to appear at the
Cornwall court on December 8th, 2008.
    On October 29th, 2008, at approximately 9:45 p.m., OPP officers stopped a
2000 Buick Lesabre on Highway 401 eastbound in South Glengarry, Ontario. The
officer observed cardboard boxes of contraband cigarettes inside the vehicle.
Officers from the RCMP were contacted to assist and seized 1,000 resealable
bags of contraband cigarettes that represent 200,000 cigarettes. The vehicle
was also seized. The 23 year old female driver from Akwesasne, Ontario was
arrested and released to appear at the Alexandria court on December 3rd, 2008.
    Finally, on October 30th, 2008, at approximately 9:15 a.m., OPP officers
stopped a 2004 Ford F250 pick-up truck on Highway 401 eastbound in South
Glengarry, Ontario. The driver provided a false name to the OPP officer while
being questioned and the officer also observed cardboard boxes of contraband
cigarettes inside the cargo area of the truck. RCMP officers were contacted to
assist and seized the vehicle and 2,500 resealable bags of contraband
cigarettes that represent 500,000 cigarettes. The 30 year old male driver from
Cornwall, Ontario was arrested and released and will appear at the Alexandria
court at a later date.
    "Although the illicit tobacco market in Ontario and Quebec is dominated
by baggies, the region has seen an increase in activity from all sources of
contraband tobacco", said Sgt. Michael Harvey of the RCMP. "Presence of
tobacco-related organized crime activities is also predominant in Ontario and
Quebec, because forty-two criminal organizations directly linked to contraband
tobacco activities operate in the Cornwall/Valleyfield region alone".





For further information:

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


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