Manitoba Finance has seized 45,117 contraband cigarettes plus 3,600 stolen cigarettes from three Winnipeg retailers.
The province says its investigators also seized $10,506 in cash and that all three locations are owned and operated by the same people.
Five people were found to be selling or in possession of illegal tobacco not marked for Manitoba tax purposes. Investigators also found cigarettes being sold which were stolen from a Winnipeg break and enter.
The retailers have had their licenses suspended. Separate charges for possessing stolen cigarettes are being pursued by Winnipeg police.
All five people involved face charges under The Manitoba Tobacco Tax Act and The Tax Administration and Miscellaneous Taxes Act. If convicted, fines range from between $1,000 and $10,000 and/or up to six months imprisonment.
Manitoba stood to lose more than $14,000 in tax revenue if these products had been sold.