The Contraband Tobacco Team delivers a positive assessment of its activities in the past year. This integrated team made up of members of the RCMP Central St. Lawrence Valley and Cornwall Detachments, the Sureté du Québec (SQ) Contraband Investigation Services and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) was very active in disrupting illegal activities related to contraband tobacco in the region.
Close to seven million illegal cigarettes taken off the market
The various police operations conducted in the course of 2014 resulted in the seizure of illegal cigarettes and tobacco totalling $4,433,641. More than 50 vehicles valued at $400,000 were also seized. A total of 172 individuals - 140 men and 32 women - were arrested. They face charges including possession of a tobacco product not properly stamped according to the Excise Act 2001 and conspiracy under the Criminal Code. Some of them could also be fined several thousand dollars.
2015 interim report
Since the beginning of 2015, the Contraband Tobacco Team made 64 arrests, seized some 30 vehicles, and took off the market over 660,000 cigarettes and close to 25,000 kilos of tobacco, representing approximately $2.3 million on the market. No effort was spared by the Team to fight this illegal activity. Investigations are still ongoing and more arrests are expected.
Illicit tobacco trade: A threat to everyone
It is illegal to possess or sell tobacco products that are not packaged or stamped as required by Canadian law. An individual engaging in this criminal activity, if found guilty, could end up with a criminal record. The illicit tobacco trade presents a threat to the health and safety of Canadians. People need to be aware that they are funding criminal activity when they purchase contraband tobacco products.
Illegal tobacco: You have information?
The co-operation of the public helps us develop new sources of information and focus the work of investigators. If you have information concerning the sale of illegal tobacco products or other suspected illicit activity, please contact the RCMP at 514-939-8300/1-800-771-5401 or your local police service.