RCMP Seize Tobacco, Firearms in Project Debit

Contraband Tobacco
Contraband tobacco seized during Project Debit on Dakota Plains First Nation, January 22, 2014. (RCMP HANDOUT)
Firearms seized as part of Project Debit. (RCMP HANDOUT)

Four people are facing charges after RCMP raided a smoke shop on Dakota Plains First Nation.

Project Debit was executed on January 22, where police and Manitoba Finance executed a search warrant on the shop, seizing 4,800 cartons of cigarettes. Police also seized three firearms.

During the search, a rental locker was found to be related to the items as well, where police then rounded up two more cases of tobacco and three more firearms.

In total, 951,225 cigarettes were seized, 1,845 tins of chew, six firearms, cash and a vehicle. The Manitoba tax avoided is $292,572.68. If convicted of the provincial offences, each accused can face a tax penalty of triple the amount avoided, amounting to $877,718.04.

Matthew Audi, 26, Christopher Wilkins, 30, both of Quebec, shop owner Craig Blacksmith, 51, and employee Tammy Walters, 42, were arrested and later released on promises to appear.