RCMP seizes over 20 million illegal cigarettes
MONTREAL, Jan. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - Imperial Tobacco Canada Limited (ITCAN)
today pointed to two recent seizures of over 20 million illegal
cigarettes to remind Members of Parliament that they have not yet
addressed Canada's illegal tobacco crisis.
On January 6, the RCMP reported a seizure of 14 million illegal
cigarettes in Hobbema, Alberta, and also announced a seizure of a
tractor trailer load of 6.3 million illegal cigarettes in the Cornwall
area of Eastern Ontario.
"The Alberta seizure is a welcome first step and it is now time for
governments to shut down all illegal cigarette factories operating in
Canada," said John Clayton, vice president, Corporate Affairs.
"Unfortunately, the Ontario government has yet to announce a strategy
to fight contraband and we have only seen empty promises from the
Federal government," he added.
ITCAN is particularly frustrated that the Minister of Health has failed
to act on her September pledge to make illegal tobacco a priority.
Instead, the Minister decided to impose further regulation on the legal
tobacco industry, which already abides by over 200 laws and
"Recent media reports and comments from some opposition MPs and tobacco
control groups have suggested that illegal tobacco is not really a
problem and a mere ruse used by tobacco companies. These seizures
should remind everyone that the illegal cigarette trade is a massive
problem backed by a sophisticated and wide-spread network of organized
crime. It cannot continue to be ignored," said Mr. Clayton.
In April 2010, the RCMP reported that there are 50 illegal cigarette
factories operating in Canada and over 300 smoke shacks on First
Nations reserves. To date, the Federal government has refused to take
action to shut them down.
"Illegal tobacco is not going away. Every time the government turns a
blind eye to the illegal trade and instead imposes further regulation
on the legal industry, it empowers the criminals behind the illegal
trade. They haven't followed any of the current regulations, why
should they start now?" concluded Mr. Clayton.
SOURCE IMPERIAL TOBACCO CANADA
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