Court Orders $700,000 In Penalties For Two Tobacco Tax Offenders

    Increased Fines And Penalties Part Of Government Strategy To Deter Sales
    of Illegal Tobacco

    CAYUGA, ON, June 28 /CNW/ - Two Quebec men were each fined $280,000 and
forfeited more than 1.5 million cigarettes, worth an estimated street value of
$165,000, following their conviction under Ontario's Tobacco Tax Act.
    Following a routine traffic stop, an OPP officer discovered 150 cases of
unmarked cigarettes in the back of a van. Vance and Nickolos Palmquist's
vehicle contained 7,500 cartons of unmarked (untaxed) cigarettes, which were
seized under the authority of the Tobacco Tax Act and turned over to the
Ministry of Revenue. Charges were laid after ministry investigators confirmed
that neither of the brothers held permits to possess or transport unmarked
    Both men were convicted of possessing unmarked cigarettes without legal
authority and each fined $280,000. They were also ordered to pay a surcharge
of $70,000 each to Ontario's Victims' Justice Fund, bringing the combined
court-imposed penalties to $700,000. The seized cigarettes were forfeited to
the Crown.
    Vigorous enforcement of the Tobacco Tax Act is an important component of
the Ontario government's Smoke-Free Ontario initiative. 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.

    Disponible en français

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For further information:

For further information: Scott Blodgett, Ministry of Finance, Ministry
of Revenue, (416) 325-0324

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