TORONTO, March 6, 2014 /CNW/ - The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced today the arrests of two Greater Toronto Area residents associated to the importation of contraband cigarettes that were sent from China and routed through Vancouver, Montreal and onto Toronto.
On February 12, 2014, during an examination of a shipment declared as "doors," CBSA officers working at the Vancouver Container Exam Facility discovered 2700 cartons of cigarettes concealed within the doors. CBSA contacted the RCMP to assist with the investigation. The RCMP and the CBSA commenced a joint investigation to determine who was responsible for bringing this contraband into Canada.
As a result of this investigation, in the afternoon of February 28, 2014, the RCMP and CBSA conducted an operation in the Finch Avenue East and Midland Avenue area of Toronto resulting in the arrest of two males.
- Chi Suong TIEU (age 22) of Toronto, Ontario
- Jia Da YE (age 21) of Markham, Ontario
Contraband / Illicit Tobacco is any tobacco product that does not comply with federal and provincial laws, which includes importation, marking, manufacturing, stamping and payment of duties and taxes. Contraband tobacco is illegal tobacco.
If you have information about suspicious cross-border activity, please contact the CBSA Border Watch Toll-free Line at 1-888-502-9060, the Ontario RCMP at 1-800-387-0020 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
- The RCMP charged TIEU and YE with the following Excise Act and Criminal Code offences:
- Receive for sale improperly packaged and stamped tobacco products, section 29(b) of the Excise Act 2001.
- Possession of unstamped tobacco products, section 32(1) of the Excise Act 2001.
- Breach of probation, section 733.1 of the Criminal Code.
- CBSA charges are pending.
On March 1, 2014, YE appeared at Old City Hall and was released on bail with a $5000 surety. On March 3, 2014, TIEU appeared at Old City Hall and was released on bail with a $5000 surety. Both are scheduled to re-appear at Old City Hall on April 8, 2014 at 9:00 am.
"Organized crime groups are extensively involved in the distribution of contraband tobacco. Profits from the sale of contraband tobacco may be used to fund other illegal activities, such as the movement of drugs, weapons and money laundering operations."
- Kevin Jackson, Officer in Charge, RCMP Serious and Organized Crime, Bowmanville Detachment
"Criminal organizations use smuggling routes and associations to facilitate the illegal cross-border movement of contraband tobacco. CBSA Officers at Canadian ports of entry are instrumental in stemming the flow, as is evidenced in the success of this investigation."
- Goran Vragovic, Regional Director General of CBSA, Greater Toronto Area Region
SOURCE: Royal Canadian Mounted Police
For further information:
RCMP Ontario Media Relations
CBSA GTA Media Relations