Manitoba, RCMP Seize 1.1 Million Illegal Cigarettes

Manitoba, RCMP Seize 1.1 Million Illegal Cigarettes

Cigarettes
(Cigarettes image via Shutterstock)

Two investigations by the Manitoba Finance Taxation Special Investigations Unit and RCMP have netted 1,176,600 contraband cigarettes.

A traffic stop on the Trans-Canada Highway October 2 just east of Richer, Manitoba turned up 488,800 illegal cigarettes, as well as 149 1.75-litre bottles of non-duty paid alcohol.

Jason Michael Rondeau, 37, of Thunder Bay was arrested and faces several charges.

The second bust on October 27 uncovered 687,800 cigarettes and $3,000 in cash while being loaded into a vehicle from a business in a Winnipeg back lane.

Three men were arrested at the scene and the items seized. They all face similar charges.

Manitoba stood to lose $347,097 in tax revenue if these cigarettes had been sold. If convicted, the men face fines between $1,000 and $10,000 and/or up to six months in prison. They will also face a mandatory triple tax penalty of $432,588 for the October 2 seizure and $608,703 for the October 27 seizure.

Contraband tobacco can be reported to local police, or to the Manitoba Finance Special Investigations Unit at (204) 945-1137, email smuggling_manitoba@rcmp-grc.gc.ca or call Manitoba Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222 TIPS (8477).

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