Cigarette Smuggling Out of Control – Kevin Parkinson – Cornwall Ontario – March 31, 2010

Cigarette Smuggling Out of Control – Kevin Parkinson – Cornwall Ontario – March 31, 2010

Cigarette Smuggling Out of Control

The latest media coverage in the Standard Freeholder concerning the incredible amount of cigarette smuggling through Cornwall and area is both shocking and puzzling, and raises more questions than answers.

We have been told that 90% of illegal cigarettes make it across our border each year, representing 50 million cartons. Cornwall, unwittingly, has become the recipient of these smugglers, who commit crimes as they cross the international border, but our community bears the brunt and the stigma attached to this activity.

My first question is:  Do we know exactly where the cigarettes are coming from?  RCMP Sgt. Michael Harvey has reported that there are 10 cigarette-making factories in New York state.  Do these establishments require permits to set up shop, and if they do, from whom?

With so many shipments coming across the border each day, there must be a few minor traffic jams on Highway 37 in New York, with vehicles loading up with cigarettes each day, and bringing their payload into Canada.  Cars are loading cartons of cigarettes in their back seats in full view. You would have to be blind not to notice.

What’s really going on here?

Secondly, with the advanced technology available today, and satellites capability of reading a licence plate from space, listening devices, surveillance cameras, telephone tapping, advanced communications interception, are we led to believe that the police forces have no way of following trucks and cars that fill their vehicles with cigarettes only a few miles from the border, and then cross the river by boat or at the land crossing on Cornwall Island.  I find this very hard to swallow.

As Harvey explained in last week’s S-F,  existing resources have resulted in stopping 15 loads out of 110, less than 15%.  The problem is not with the police at the local level. Where is the Conservative government leadership here?  MP Guy Lauzon is always talking about how important  ‘law and order’ is to the Conservative party. So, why has the smuggling increased under Lauzon’s watch, so much so that the Conservatives have turned it into a farce?

Meanwhile, lots of smugglers, often young people, are committing criminal acts and are enjoying easy money in a life of crime.  An increase in resources would mean that police could use surveillance and advanced technology for what is intended: to track criminal activity and if we did that, I believe that many smugglers would be driven right into the hands of law enforcement.

Finally, one last question must be asked. Who benefits from the status quo? Who is benefiting from the smuggling proceeds now? Bank accounts usually tell the story and no doubt there are millions of dollars being laundered every day from cigarette smuggling.

Use the Internet and follow the money trail to the top.

Admitting defeat to the smugglers is admitting that there is so much corruption in our system, that we are powerless to prevent it. Do you think that is true?

Either the governments lower excessive taxes and eliminate the smuggling that way, or they step up law enforcement efforts to curb cigarette smuggling before violence begins, in which case Cornwall and area would be adversely affected.

We are already looked upon as “the cigarette smuggling capital of Canada.” That reputation really illustrates just how bad the problem is.

Maintaining the status quo is not an option. Cigarette smuggling is out of control.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RAoNMmoy5s&feature=player_embedded#

We need to act now.

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13 Comments on "Cigarette Smuggling Out of Control – Kevin Parkinson – Cornwall Ontario – March 31, 2010"

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sigfus451998
Member
News articles on the cost of tobacco smuggling peg the cost to government loss of revenue, provincial and federal at about two billion dollars for the area of Ontario and Quebec. The recent opening of a new building in Cornwall at a cost of millions I compare to the most recent acquisition by the RCMP of two new boats. They probably needed a new building, given their previous circumstance, the officers out on patrol would be my first choice for properly funding for numbers and equipment. See attached article by Senator Colin Kenny. Bill C-60 has my ire up for… Read more »
Eric
Guest
So what do we do, stop every boat, truck and car at various crossroads around the city? The US and Canadian governments need to enforce the same conditions. The governement will do something if enough people ask, but too many are using the products and do not want to affect their own wallet. As Admin said in a different posting, follow the money, or in this case, trace back where the smokes come from. If it is a legal manufacturing business, fine them if cigaretts get stolen or are redirected, and change will happen. The fine has to be higher… Read more »
Stan
Member

Good article from Colin Kenny, but as usual Canada is “cheaping-out” on their responsibilities!

sigfus451998
Member

Note the latest slide by CBSA announcing today an “Akwesasne only” lane at the Cornwall port of entry.

Destructo
Member
The Americans spend well over 20 billion dollars a year on the war on drugs, while Canada spends around 1 billion. And what has that achieved? A massive increase in drug consumption. Spending more money on securing the borders and tracking smugglers is futile. It’s called “supply and demand” people, I’m sure you’ve heard of it. Where there is a need for a product, it will be made available. When you shut down a smuggling ring, it does not take long for some other entrepreneur to realize an oppotunity and make a move. It’s just business. We went through a… Read more »
Furtz
Member

Rodney, If it only saves one old hippie from continuing along the evil road of marijuana
addiction, it will be worth every penny.

sigfus451998
Member

“moving back to the island” ? May you live in interesting times.

Roy Berger
Member

One stick of marijuana and life is over. Anyone who smokes pot is 100% incapable of driving, showing up to work, dealing with kids, doing complicated tasks, creating art or making decisions. As proof I offer that medical staff, city staff, media, lawyers and teachers never get arrested for pot use.

Furtz
Member

Life of the party, In all seriousness, I know all kinds of successful, productive people who enjoy the odd smoke of the evil weed. They include teachers, nurses, writers, musicians, computer programmers, lawyers, etc. I, myself would never consider consider trying it, but that’s my choice.

Roy Berger
Member

It’s ironic that a variety store in the East End should lose its tobacco license yesterday as punishment for an infraction because it’s now that much harder and longer walk to try and find a legal tobacco outlet. It’s hard to find legal smokes in Cornwall, much harder than anywhere I’ve ever been. It’s very difficult to find pouch tobacco and papers in Cornwall.

Stan
Member

Pouch Tobacco Guy, you can buy all kinds of pouch tobacco and papers at Carl’s Smoke Shop
at 272 Pitt Street in Cornwall.

grimalot
Guest

Stan, that would defeat the purpose. Pouch Tobacco Guy seems to be annoyed at having to walk all the way from the east end to the west almost to get a pack of smokes or pouch tobacco. But yes, I believe Carl’s does offer those items. The pouch tobacco may possibly only be available now at GT though.

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