Over 970 Cases of Counterfeit Cigarettes Seized

    BOWMANVILLE, ON, Aug. 25 /CNW/ - On Tuesday, August 18th, 2009, five
individuals were arrested for possession of unlawfully packed and stamped
tobacco in Scarborough, Ontario, after a joint investigation by the Canada
Border Services Agency and the RCMP GTA Customs and Excise Section.
    On Tuesday, August 18th, 2009, as a result of an investigation, a rental
truck containing 464 cases of counterfeit Du Maurier cigarettes, a 2008 Honda
Odyssey containing 20 cases of counterfeit Du Maurier cigarettes and
approximately $9,000.00 were seized. A subsequent search warrant of a storage
facility uncovered an additional 487 cases of counterfeit Du Maurier
cigarettes. In total, 971 cases of counterfeit cigarettes were seized which
represents approximately $2,200,000 in duty and taxes evaded.
    Charges under the Excise Act, Customs Act and the Criminal Code of Canada
against five individuals were laid at Toronto Old City Hall court house on
August 21st, 2009. First court appearance for the five accused has been
scheduled for November 13th, 2009.

    Charged are:    Qiang ZHOU of Scarborough (age 31)
                    Wei Xian ZHOU of Markham (age 23)
                    Xing ZHOU of Scarborough (age 29)
                    Nai Qin YU of Markham (age 42)
                    Yu Jun SHI of Scarborough (age 22)

    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 Section stated that, "The RCMP is committed to working internally as
well as with its partners and stakeholders to ensure that every effort is made
to enhance public safety and economic integrity across Canada".
    Pictures of the seizure are available by e-mail request.

For further information:

For further information: Cpl Erich HEINS, RCMP Toronto East Detachment,
Customs and Excise Section, (905) 697-6000 ext 282 - office, (905) 439-0806 -
mobile, erich.heins@rcmp-grc.gc.ca; or Patrizia Giolti, CBSA Spokesperson,
(905) 803-5218

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