Scarborough Man Caught With 250,000 Contraband Cigarettes

    New Inspection And Seizure Powers Part of Strengthened Tobacco Tax Act

    MORRISBURG, ON, Sept. 10 /CNW/ - Ministry of Revenue investigators
uncovered Chung Leung Lok in possession of unmarked cigarettes during a
surveillance operation.
    On November 6, 2006, ministry investigators observed Lok loading two
rental vans with sleeping bags and blankets, items often used to conceal loads
of tobacco. The investigators followed Lok from Scarborough to the Avondale
area. The van was pulled over on Highway 401 going westbound near Morrisburg
and searched. The investigators discovered 250,000 unmarked cigarettes, which
were seized.
    On August 28, 2007, Lok was convicted under the Tobacco Tax Act of
possessing unmarked cigarettes for the purpose of sale. He was also convicted
under the Excise Act 2001 of possessing a tobacco product that was not
properly stamped.
    Lok was fined $40,000 under the Excise Act 2001 and $5,000 under the
Tobacco Tax Act. He must also pay a surcharge of $1,250 to the Ontario's
Victims' Justice Fund.
    Vigorous enforcement of the Tobacco Tax Act is an important component of
the Ontario government's Smoke-Free Ontario strategy. The Government of
Ontario has many enforcement measures to discourage the sale of contraband
tobacco and has strengthened the Tobacco Tax 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.
    In the 2007 Budget, the McGuinty government proposed 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.

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For further information:

For further information: Scott Blodgett, Ministry of Revenue, (416)

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