Over 310K in contraband cigarettes seized during crackdown at Manitoba-Ontario border

WINNIPEG — The province seized over 310,000 contraband cigarettes, and over 50 people are facing charges, after an enforcement crackdown at the Manitoba-Ontario provincial border.

Manitoba Finance’s taxation special investigations unit, the RCMP, the Ontario Ministry of Finance’s compliance branch and the Treaty Three Police Service took part in the joint initiative that resulted in the seizure of 311,930 contraband cigarettes and 7,600 grams of fine-cut tobacco. If these products had been sold, the province would have lost $97,037 in tax revenue.

The news release said 52 people are facing charges, which could result in set fine penalties of $2,542; fines between $1,000 to 10,000; up to six months imprisonment; or triple tax penalties.

The province said as a result of this crackdown, two people are facing separate drug charges, three speeding tickets were given out, two tickets for driving without a valid driver’s licence were issued, as well as one ticket for driving an unregistered vehicle.

Anyone with information on contraband tobacco is asked to contact a local police department, Crime Stoppers or the Manitoba Finance special investigations unit.

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