Bite put on Illegal Chewing Tobacco Distributor

    BOWMANVILLE, ON, Feb. 4 /CNW/ - As a result of a joint investigation by
the Special Investigation Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Revenue, the
Investigations Unit of the Toronto Canada Border Services Agency and the RCMP
GTA Custom and Excise Unit, charges were laid against one individual under the
Excise Act 2001.
    On January 30th, 2009, two individuals were arrested for possession of
unlawfully packed and stamped tobacco in North York, Ontario. These arrests
resulted in search warrants being executed on Saturday January 31st, 2009 on a
storage facility and a moving truck where approximately 300, 10 kg cases of
Gutkha RMD an East Indian chewing tobacco valued at approx. $1,000,000 were

    Charged is: Sameer, Vali MOTLANI Age 62 of Orlando, Florida
    The second individual arrested was questioned and released.

    The first court appearance for MOTLANI was on January 31st, 2009 at the
Old City Hall Court house in Toronto in order to answer charges under the
Excise Act 2001. Mr. MOTLANI was granted bail but remains in custody until he
meets the bail requirements.
    These actions were the continuation of an investigation where Excise Act
2001 charges were laid against six males in December 2008. These individuals
are scheduled to appear next at the Brampton Court house on February 20th,
2009. That media release can be found at;

    Although the effects of illegal tobacco activities are not obvious, all
Canadians, in one way or another, feel the repercussions of these activities
in the form of;

    -  the loss of millions in federal and provincial government revenues,
    -  undermining of public health efforts to decrease tobacco use,
    -  preventing legitimate business from carrying out their activities in a
       climate of fair competition.

    RCMP Inspector Greg Johnson, the Officer in charge of the GTA Customs and
Excise Unit stated that, "The RCMP is committed to working with its partners
and other stakeholders to ensure that every effort is made to enhance public
safety and economic integrity across Canada".
    A picture of the items seized is available by e-mail request.

For further information:

For further information: Sgt. Marc LaPorte, RCMP "O" Division, Media
Relations Officer, (519) 640-7302 - office, (416) 992-4409 - mobile, e-mail: or Cpl. Erich HEINS, Toronto East RCMP Detachment,
Customs and Excise Unit, (905) 697-6000 ext 282 - office, (905) 439-0806 -

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