Two Men Convicted for Contraband Tobacco



    Ontario's Tough Tobacco Tax Laws at Work

    TORONTO, May 4 /CNW/ - Two men have been convicted and fined a total of
$355,476 for Tobacco Tax Act offences.
    Eric Stiles of Nepean pleaded guilty to possession of 400,000 unmarked
cigarettes for the purpose of sale in the Ontario Court of Justice in
L'Orignal on March 26, 2009. He was sentenced to two years probation and 100
hours of community service. Stiles was also fined $148,700 and must pay
$37,175 to the Victims' Justice Fund.
    On April 9, 2009 in the Ontario Court of Justice in Cornwall, Armand
Menard of Cornwall was found guilty of possession of 558,100 grams of untaxed
loose tobacco. He was fined $206,776 and must pay $51,694 to the Victims'
Justice Fund.
    The Ministry of Revenue's Special Investigations Branch laid charges in
both cases, and the contraband tobacco seized was forfeited to the Ontario
government.
    The Government of Ontario has many enforcement measures to discourage the
sale of contraband tobacco. The Tobacco Tax Act has been strengthened with new
inspection and seizure powers, new offence provisions, increased fines, jail
provisions, civil penalties, and provisions that permit tax investigators to
share intelligence information with police and other agencies that enforce
tobacco-related laws.
    A proposed amendment to suspend the driver's licences of persons
convicted of certain tobacco offences under the act is contained in the Budget
Measures Act, 2009. The amendment is one of several in the 2009 Budget, which
- if approved by the Legislature - would continue to build on measures enacted
over the past five years to strengthen tobacco tax enforcement.
    Ministry investigators and inspectors have seized approximately 66
million contraband cigarettes over the past two years.

    
    LEARN MORE

    Read about Tobacco Tax.
    (http://www.rev.gov.on.ca/english/taxes/tt/index.html)

    Learn more about Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy.
    (http://www.mhp.gov.on.ca/english/health/smoke_free/default.asp)

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