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Baie-Comeau Area: Illegal Cigarette Distribution and Sale Network Dismantled

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Sept-Îles, February 6, 2014 – Members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Côte-Nord Detachment made three arrests and seized tens of thousands of illegal cigarettes Monday as part of Project Confrère. The purpose of this investigation, which was initiated a little over two years ago, was to dismantle an illegal cigarette distribution and sale network in the Baie-Comeau area.

Monday's operation resulted in the arrest of the alleged leader of the local network – a 48-year-old man from Chute-aux-Outardes, as well as two suppliers, i.e. two Sainte-Catherine men aged 49 and 29 respectively. All three suspects could face charges of possession of a tobacco product not properly stamped according to the Excise Act 2001.

Seized cigarettes - High resolution image

Seized cigarettes - High resolution image

Seized cigarettes - High resolution image

Illegal Cigarettes and Drugs Seized

As a result of the search some 170,000 illegal cigarettes were seized in the suppliers' vehicle. Officers also seized cocaine, hashish and marihuana, as well as drug use and trafficking paraphernalia in the residence of the alleged network leader in Chute-aux-Outardes. Charges could be filed at a later date concerning the drug seizures.

The investigation is still ongoing and more individuals involved in this network could be charged.

RCMP officers were assisted by the Sûreté du Québec Manicouagan RCM during this operation.

The Illicit Tobacco Trade Represents a Public Threat

It is illegal to possess or sell tobacco products that are not packaged or stamped as required by Canadian law. The illicit tobacco trade presents a threat to public safety and health of Canadians. People need to be aware that they are funding criminal activity when they purchase contraband tobacco products.

You Have Information on the Illicit Tobacco Trade?

If you have information on the sale of illegal tobacco products or other suspected illicit activity, please contact the investigators of the Côte-Nord Detachment at 418-962-2061.


For information:

Constable Ghislain Ouellet
Côte-Nord Detachment

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