Province Seizes 71,000 Contraband Cigarettes

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Following an investigation into the sale of contraband cigarettes, members of the Manitoba Finance Taxation Special Investigations Unit have seized 71,000 contraband cigarettes, with assistance from the RCMP.

The seizure resulted in the arrest of two male residents of Winnipeg, aged 26 and 44, on Dec. 12.  The two men will face charges under The Manitoba Tobacco Tax Act and The Tax Administration and Miscellaneous Taxes Act.

Manitoba stood to lose $20,945 in tax revenue if these cigarettes had been sold.  If convicted, the individuals face fines between $1,000 and $10,000 and/or up to six months imprisonment.  In addition, they may face a triple tax penalty of $62,835.

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).