RCMP seize contraband cigarettes

Portage la Prairie RCMP seized some contraband cigarettes on Monday.

At about 1:30 a.m., a Portage RCMP member was patrolling the Trans-Canada Highway near Angle Road in Portage when a 1996 Ford Windstar van from British Columbia was observed traveling westbound.

RCMP noted the vehicle was missing the rear bumper and a tie-down strap was hanging out the back of the van. The vehicle was stopped for the equipment violation when police were able to observe a large quantity of cigarettes in the rear of the vehicle.

The driver of the vehicle was arrested under the Federal Excise Act and the vehicle was searched, resulting in the seizure of 12 cases of contraband cigarettes, each containing 50 cartons of cigarettes totaling 120,000 cigarettes.

The value of the contraband cigarettes is estimated at $24,000.

The driver, a 31 year-old male from Ontario currently residing in British Columbia, was released on a promise to appear for Dec. 10, at Provincial Court in Winnipeg.

Charges are pending under the Federal Excise act and the Provincial Manitoba Tobacco Tax Act.

In this matter, a tax penalty of $66,600 could also be assessed. Manitoba taxes avoided amount to $22,200.

Manitoba Finance Special Investigations Unit is working in conjunction with the Portage RCMP detachment on the Investigation.

The RCMP investigation is continuing with the assistance of the RCMP Customs and Excise Section.

If anyone has any information on contraband tobacco, they are urged to contact their local police department or Manitoba Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

source: http://www.portagedailygraphic.com

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