Fifteen People Arrested for Possession of Contraband Tobacco during High Intensity Enforcement Project

    CORNWALL, ON, Feb. 25 /CNW/ - Between February 16th, 2009 and February
23th, 2009, the Cornwall RCMP Detachment coordinated a High Intensity
Enforcement Project in the Cornwall area to disrupt the contraband tobacco
supply chain. Resources were temporarily deployed from RCMP Detachments
located in the provinces of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland to support this
operation. Officers from the Canada Border Services Agency, Combined Forces
Special Enforcement Unit, Integrated Criminal Intelligence Section, Cornwall
Community Police Service, Ontario Provincial Police, Ontario Provincial Police
Organized Crime Enforcement Team (POCET), and the Ontario Ministry of Revenue
Special Investigations Branch also participated in this operation.
    Individuals and vehicles involved in contraband tobacco smuggling
departing the Cornwall area towards Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa were
identified and intercepted. This joint operation focused on targeting
individuals who belong to various organized crime groups which facilitate the
distribution of the contraband tobacco throughout Canada. The result of this
operation permitted the partner law enforcement agencies to intercept nineteen
different vehicles in the following regions:

    12 vehicles in Cornwall, Ontario
    5 vehicles in South Glengarry, Ontario
    2 vehicles in South Stormont, Ontario

    These interceptions permitted the arrest of fifteen individuals (3 from
Cornwall, Ontario, 3 from Akwesasne, Ontario, 1 from Ottawa, Ontario, 1 from
St. Regis Quebec, 2 from Maniwaki, Quebec, 1 from Akwesasne, New York, 2 from
Hogansburg, New York, 1 from Oka Quebec, and 1 from Chateauguay Quebec), who
will be charged for the possession of a tobacco product not properly stamped
according to the Excise Act 2001 and/or charged under authority of the
Provincial Tobacco Tax Act.

    Items Seized

    - 19 vehicles
    - 21,473 assorted resealable bags and cartons each containing
      200 cigarettes seized
    - 897 kilograms of fine cut tobacco
    - $260,000 USD from one vehicle

    The Cornwall Detachment follows the principals of intelligence led
policing to attack the National Priorities of Organized Crime and Terrorism,
and to enhance Border Integrity and security along the shared border. Cornwall
Detachment focuses its targeting based on criminal threat assessments of
criminal organizations which are believed to be operating within the Cornwall
Detachment area.
    Two similar High Intensity Enforcement Projects were executed in 2008
where Customs and Excise members from the RCMP's Northwest and Central regions
attended Cornwall with the objective of learning, understanding and executing
enforcement strategies on the contraband phenomenon.

For further information:

For further information: Sgt. Michael Harvey, Cornwall RCMP Detachment,
Office: (613) 937-2831; or Sgt. Marc LaPorte, RCMP "O" Division (Ontario),
Media Relations Coordinator, Office: (519) 640-7302, Cell: (416) 992-4409,

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