RCMP/CBSA Seize 51,900 Cartons of Counterfeit Cigarettes Worth over 2.8 Million

    TORONTO, June 17 /CNW/ - On Saturday, May 31, 2008, a joint forces
operation involving the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Greater Toronto
Area Customs and Excise Section and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
for the Greater Toronto Area resulted in the seizure of 51,900 cartons of
counterfeit Players, Du Maurier, and Belmont cigarettes. Also seized were
brands of Chinese cigarettes with an approximate total value of more than
$ 2,854,500.00.
    Search warrants were executed at storage units in the Markham and
Scarborough area. The cigarettes, which originated in China, were shipped in a
freight container to Canada. The RCMP believes that the cigarettes were
destined for the Toronto market.
    Six men were arrested and charged with unlawful possession of tobacco
products contrary to the Excise Act 2001. They are also facing charges under
the Customs Act. The following will appear in court on September 19th 2008:

    Yuk Ping POON (age 45) - Scarborough, Ontario

    Bing Quan CHEN (age 44) - Markham, Ontario

    Zhong Qi CHEN (age 46) - Scarborough, Ontario

    Pe Kai CHEN (age 45) - Markham, Ontario

    Shuman TANG (age 48) - Richmond, British Columbia

    Gou Ping WU (age 46) - Stouffville, Ontario

    "These seizures represent just under 2.3 million dollars in duties and
taxes lost by the Federal and Provincial governments." Stated RCMP Inspector
Greg Johnson, the Officer-in-Charge of the GTA Customs and Excise Section
states: "The distribution of contraband tobacco products in Canada has serious
consequences for the Canadian economy. Illicit sales of contraband tobacco is
also a significant source of income for all levels of organized crime, it
contributes to an underground economy and supports other criminal activities.
It also exposes the public to a higher health risk and facilitates young
Canadians to obtain tobacco products through the illicit market."

For further information:

For further information: Sgt. Susan Riddell, RCMP GTA CES TED, office:
(905) 697-6017, cell: (905) 439-0143; Patrizia GIOLTI, Canada Border Services
Agency - Toronto, office: (905) 803-5218

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