The largest amount of contraband cigarettes ever brought into Manitoba has been seized in Brandon.
Law enforcement says it took place September 9 and four Brandon men, ranging in ages from 46 to 60, were arrested.
The operation seized 360 cases from an Ontario First Nation community — the equivalent to 3,570,400 contraband cigarettes. Had the cigarettes been sold, the Manitoba government stood to lose $1,071,120 in tax revenue.
Manitoba Finance Taxation Special Investigations Unit worked with the Brandon Police and the Ontario Ministry of Finance Investigations as part of the investigation.
First-time offenders face fines between $1,000 and $10,000 and/or up to six months imprisonment if convicted. In addition, the suspects may face a triple tax penalty of $3,213,360 and a loss of assets to the Criminal Forfeiture Unit.
In total, 3.5 million cigarettes were seized. Here is a look at half of the seizure.
Posted by Brandon Police Service on Wednesday, September 16, 2020