By Sarah Klein
Two men face charges after 312,950 contraband cigarettes were seized in the RM of Rosser on Wednesday.
The Manitoba Finance Taxation Division and Winnipeg police searched vehicles and a private garage in Winnipeg where they found 1,564 cartoons and six packages of cigarettes not marked for sale in Manitoba.
A search of two residences in the RM of Rosser led to the seizure of $31,135 in cash believed to be the proceeds of crime and one loaded firearm.
A 69 year-old man from Winnipeg has been charged with failing to comply with a condition of undertaking and was detained. He and a 67-year-old co-accused faces charges of possession of non-Manitoba marked cigarettes under the Manitoba Tobacco Tax Act and the Tax Administration and Miscellaneous Taxes Act.
They each face fines of $1,000 to $10,000 and/or up to six months in jail and a triple tax penalty of $272,266.50.
The province says Manitoba stood to lose $90,755.50 in tax revenues if the tobacco had reached the black market.