Province Seizes 68,150 Contraband Cigarettes from Brandon Residence

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Manitoba Finance’s Taxation Special Investigations Unit executed a search warrant on Wednesday, May 15 at a Brandon residence and seized 68,150 contraband cigarettes and $3,760 in cash.

A 37-year-old female resident was found to be in possession of illegal tobacco products that were not marked for Manitoba tax purposes.  She now faces charges under The Manitoba Tobacco Tax Act, The Tax Administration and Miscellaneous Taxes Act and the Criminal Code.

Manitoba stood to lose $20,104.25 in tax revenue if these products had been sold.  For a first-time offence, individuals face fines between $1,000 and $10,000 and/or up to six months imprisonment.  If convicted, the accused is subject to a triple tax penalty of $60,312.75.

The province urges anyone who has information on contraband tobacco to contact their local police department, call the Manitoba Finance Special Investigations Unit at 204-945-1137, email smuggling_manitoba@rcmp-grc.gc.ca or call Manitoba Crime Stoppers (toll-free) at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).