CORNWALL, ON, Feb. 19, 2016 /CNW/ - On January 6th, 2016, members of the Cornwall Regional Task Force (CRTF) were patrolling the St Lawrence River when they spotted a boat with individuals off-loading garbage bags onto the shore in Les Coteaux, Quebec. Members on land were directed to the site and subsequently were able to apprehend two (2) individuals in relation to this smuggling event. Gerald HANNABURG, 35 years old and Rachel SIMON, 29 years old, both from Oka, Quebec, were arrested and charged with being in possession of contraband fine cut tobacco and cigars. During this investigation, police seized 693 kilograms of fine cut tobacco, 24,780 cigarillos along with their conveyance, a 2005 Chevrolet Astro Van.
HANNABURG's matter has been dealt with in court whereas SIMON's first court appearance is set for April 7th, 2016 in Valleyfield, Quebec Provincial court.
On January 7th, 2016, CRTF members were working alongside the Valleyfield's Sûreté du Quebec's (SQ) Contraband Investigation Unit when they observed four (4) individuals off-loading garbage bags onto the shore near 120th Avenue, in Saint-Anicet, Quebec. As the officers approached the location, the four (4) individuals attempted to flee the area but were quickly apprehended. All four (4) individuals from Toronto area were arrested by CRTF members for being in possession of contraband tobacco products. SQ officers seized one (1) U-Haul cube van and 50 bags of fine cut tobacco weighing approximately 1131 kilograms. This investigation is ongoing and charges are pending.
The individuals noted above, who have been charged under the provisions of the Excise Act, 2001, also face charges under the provincial Tobacco Tax Act in Quebec for possession of unmarked cigarettes.
If you have any information regarding criminal activity in your area, you can contact the CRTF at 1-613-937-2800 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
"The RCMP will continue working at securing our border," said Inspector Steve Ethier, Officer in charge of the Cornwall Regional Task Force, "It's in partnership with other law enforcement agencies and the public that this area will remain safe for everyone".
The CRTF is a joint forces partnership that includes the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ontario Provincial Police, Canada Border Services Agency, and the Ontario Ministry of Finance. CRTF is proud to be in partnership with Sûreté du Quebec Contraband Investigation Unit and the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service. We would like to extend to them our thanks for their ongoing assistance and cooperation.
In reference to the picture:
"As you can see, sanitary measures are not a high priority for criminal organizations when it comes to the movement of illicit tobacco" states Cst. Jean Juneau, Cornwall Media Relations Officer. "The photo depicts contraband fine tobacco being moved via a rental cube van in black plastic garbage bags."
Photo: Contraband tobacco transported in garbage bags.
Photo is a courtesy of Sûreté du Quebec's Contraband Investigation Unit
SOURCE Cornwall Regional Task Force
For further information: Cst. Jean Juneau, Cornwall RTF, 613-937-2800, ext. 258; Sgt. Kristine Rae, Ontario Provincial Police, 613-285-5479