Windsor RCMP seize tobacco products

    WINDSOR, ON, Nov. 28 /CNW/ - On Sunday November 25, 2007, members of the
RCMP Customs and Excise Section, executed search warrants at two local storage
lockers, and seized a large quantity of contraband cigarettes.
    Search Warrants were executed as a result of a four month investigation
into the alleged sale and distribution of contraband cigarettes that were
purchased in the Brantford Ontario area. The cigarettes were allegedly brought
to Windsor where they were stored at two separate storage lockers.
    As a result of the searches, investigators seized approximately
5750 cartons of un-stamped cigarettes including DK's and loose cigarettes that
were being sold in zip lock bags. The cigarettes were distributed with no
duties or taxes being paid.
    Police are alleging that the seized tobacco products represent
approximately $288,000 in taxes evaded.
    "This type of illegal activity negatively affects legitimate businesses
who sell cigarettes with all the duties and taxes paid," stated Cpl. Tim Fiset
of the RCMP Windsor Customs and Excise Section. "Legitimate businesses are not
able to compete with those businesses who sell the cheaper brands."

    Charged are:

    1) Ali YASSINE, age 36, of  Windsor, ON.
    2) Sabah Al-TAMIMI, age 36, of Windsor, ON.

    Both are charged with Possessing, Distributing, Purchasing and Receiving
Un-Stamped Tobacco products, as well as Conspiracy to Possess and Distribute
Un-Stamped Tobacco.
    In September of this year the Windsor Customs and Excise Section embarked
on a awareness campaign to inform the public and local businesses of the
negative impact on the economy of cheaper brand cigarettes, and the health
issues associated with loose cigarettes being sold in zip lock bags. Cpl. Tim
Fiset advises the RCMP Customs and Excise Section is aggressively
investigating offences where tobacco products are being sold without all the
applicable taxes being paid, and is asking anyone with information on this
type of activity to please contact their local RCMP office or crime stoppers.

For further information:

For further information: RCMP Media Contact: Cst. Annette Bernardon,
(519) 948-5287

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