Two Convictions for Possession of 409,800 Unmarked Cigarettes

    Ontario's Tough Tobacco Tax Laws at Work

    TORONTO, April 17 /CNW/ - Two individuals were convicted and fined a
total of $152,830 for Tobacco Tax Act offences in the Ontario Court of Justice
in Cornwall.
    On March 19, 2009, John Deer of Kahnawake, Que. was found guilty of
possession of 220,000 unmarked cigarettes for the purpose of sale. Deer was
fined $82,010 and must pay $20,502 to the Victims' Justice Fund.
    Sheila Sandy of Oshweken, Ont., found in possession of 189,800 unmarked
cigarettes, was convicted on March 12, 2009 of the same offence. Sandy was
fined $70,820 and must pay $17,705 to the Victims' Justice Fund.
    The Ministry of Revenue's Special Investigations Branch laid charges
after the Cornwall Community Police Service pulled over the vehicles on
Brookdale Avenue in Cornwall in two separate incidents in May and February
2008, respectively. In both cases, the seized contraband cigarettes were
forfeited to the Ontario government.
    The Government of Ontario has many enforcement measures to discourage the
sale of contraband tobacco. The Tobacco Tax Act has been strengthened with new
inspection and seizure powers, new offence provisions, increased fines, jail
provisions, civil penalties, and provisions that permit tax investigators to
share intelligence information with police and other agencies that enforce
tobacco-related laws.
    A proposed amendment to suspend the driver's licences of persons
convicted of certain tobacco offences under the act is contained in the Budget
Measures Act, 2009. The amendment is one of several in the 2009 Budget,  
which - if approved by the Legislature - would continue to build on measures
enacted over the past five years to strengthen tobacco tax enforcement.
    Ministry investigators and inspectors have seized approximately 66
million contraband cigarettes over the past two years.


    Read about Tobacco Tax

    Learn more about Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy

                                                      Disponible en français

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
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    website at Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

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For further information: Media Inquiries, Scott Blodgett: (416)
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