Manitoba Finance’s Taxation Special Investigations Unit (SIU) seized 10,412 contraband cigarettes, 19,024 grams of sheesha product containing illegal tobacco, $10,689 in cash and impounded a Manitoba registered vehicle following a recent enforcement blitz.
A total of 11 individuals and four businesses were found selling, or in possession of, illegal tobacco products that were not marked for Manitoba tax purposes. They now face charges under The Manitoba Tobacco Tax Act and The Tax Administration and Miscellaneous Taxes Act.
Manitoba stood to lose more than $8,300 in tax revenue if these products 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call Manitoba Crime Stoppers (toll-free) at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).