Millions in lost taxes finance organize crime, stronger action required
OTTAWA, Nov. 17, 2014 /CNW/ - The National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco (NCACT) is monitoring closely this afternoon's Ontario Economic Update speech by Minister of Finance the Hon. Charles Souza as it is set to include stiffer measures to fight contraband tobacco in the province.
"The NCACT is encouraged the Ontario government may finally be looking at cracking down on its massive contraband tobacco problem. Ontario has the most illegal cigarettes in the country—more than 30% of those purchased in the province are contraband. The proceeds from the sale of this illegal product funds the activities of 175 criminal gangs, who use it to fund their other activities, including guns, drugs and human smuggling. We look forward to hearing Ontario Finance Minister Charles Souza's economic update this afternoon as we continue working with governments in the fight against this important criminal problem in Canada."
- Gary Grant, m.o.m., National Spokesperson, NCACT
The RCMP estimates that there are about 175 criminal gangs involved in the contraband tobacco trade. They also estimate that there are about 50 illegal cigarettes factories operating in Canada. Contraband is also a prime source for youth smoking, as the criminals involved in the trade don't check for I.D. The NCACT recently published a study reporting that on average in 2014, more than 30% of cigarettes purchased in Ontario were contraband with spikes hitting 42% in July.
The NCACT's National Spokesperson Gary Grant is available today for interviews by telephone and in person in the GTA.
ABOUT THE NCACT
The National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco is a Canadian advocacy group formed by organizations and associations concerned about the growing danger of contraband cigarettes. NCACT members share the goals of working together to educate people and urge government to take quick action to stop this growing threat.
The members of the NCACT are: Association des détaillants en alimentation du Québec (ADA), Association des marchands dépanneurs et épiciers du Québec (AMDEQ), Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Convenience Stores Association (CCSA), Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Canadian Tobacco Manufacturers Council, Conseil du patronat du Québec (CPQ), Customs and Immigration Union, Échec au crime Québec, Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec (FCCQ), Frontier Duty Free Association (FDFA), National Convenience Stores Distributors Association (NACDA), Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Retail Council of Canada, Toronto Crime Stoppers and United Korean Commerce and Industry Association (UKCIA).
SOURCE: National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco (NCACT)
For further information: Kalene DeBaeremaeker, (p) 1 866 950-5551, (m) 613 857 1758, (e) [email protected]