MONTRÉAL, Jan. 30, 2015 /CNW/ - Five individuals appeared today at the Montréal courthouse to face charges of conspiracy and smuggling tobacco, while another accused person, Carlos Almeida de Oliveira, is the subject of an arrest warrant. According to the Canada Border Services Agency's (CBSA) investigation, the accused developed and carried out a plan to illegally bring tobacco products into Canada without paying duties and taxes owing under the Customs Act and the Excise Act, 2001.
According to the investigation, the plan involved making a declaration that the tobacco would be temporarily imported into Canada from the United States, with Haiti as a final destination. However, during the transport to Canada, they removed the tobacco and substituted other merchandise for export, such as mouldy tobacco, tobacco powder and empty boxes. The merchandise substitution was carried out, among other places, in a bonded sufferance warehouse in Lachine, Quebec. Consequently, the imported tobacco remained in Canada in order to be smuggled into the Canadian market.
List of the accused:
- ITC Maritime Aérien, Inc.
- 7539657 Canada, Inc. (Yiannis Transport)
- Carlos Almeida de Oliveira
- Ducarmel Cyrius
- Amer El-Jouni
- Modhar Mousa
- Ioanis Sotiropoulos
- Nicolaos Stasinopoulos
- According to the investigation, a total of 43,109 kg of bulk tobacco and 8,323,831 cigarettes were smuggled by this group.
- The accused could receive a maximum fine of $500,000 and/or five years in prison.
- Any person who has information about suspicious import or export activities can contact the CBSA's Border Watch Toll-free Line at 1-888-502-9060 within North America.
"Persons and companies to whom Canadian Customs authorities grant privileges, such as bonded warehouses and bonded carriers, have a higher degree of responsibility with regards to compliance. The CBSA intends to prosecute any offender who takes advantage of his or her trust relationship with the CBSA to the full extent of the law."
- Benoît Chiquette, Regional General Director, CBSA, Quebec Region
SOURCE Canada Border Services Agency
For further information: Media relations, Quebec Region, Canada Border Services Agency, Telephone number: 514-350-6130