Major RCMP Cigarette Bust – Sherbrooke Quebec – November 17, 2009

Sherbrooke, Tuesday, November 17, 2009 This morning in Sherbrooke, the RCMP dismantled an organization involved in the distribution and sale of contraband tobacco products.  The police officers conducted five searches and seized approximately 430,000 contraband cigarettes, as well as seven vehicles. Five persons were arrested and could face charges under the Excise Act 2001.

The searches were conducted in private residences and in a warehouse owned by the suspects in the Sherbrooke area. Of the five persons arrested this morning, four will be released today.  One individual will be remanded into custody.

The RCMP Estrie Detachment initiated the investigation in September 2008 in partnership with the Sûreté du Québec and Sherbrooke Police Service.

Under the Excise Act 2001, it is illegal to possess or sell tobacco products that are not packaged or stamped as required by Canadian law.

People need to be aware that they are funding criminal activity if they purchase tobacco products not sold legitimately. Criminals involved in the illicit tobacco trade often use their profits to fund other illegal activities, including drug and firearm trafficking.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police encourages citizens to report any information on suspected illicit activities by individuals or groups of individuals to the investigators of the RCMP Estrie Detachment at 819 564-5770. All tips will be kept confidential.

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  1. Major bust? Lets run some numbers here. Because apart from the vehicles seized, I think they have more major busts here then this story portrays itself to be.

    430000 cigarettes. Not bags. Not cases.

    The average carton contains 200 cigarettes.
    So I will assume the same for bags.

    430000 / 200 = 2150 bags.

    I have heard there are 50 bags to a case.

    So 2150 / 50 = 43 cases.

    Interesting how the great number of “430,000” is used to portray a major bust when really its only about 43 cases. Doesn’t seem like such a major bust to me as the RCMP is trying to portray it as. So how many more of taxpayers millions are going to be put into the fold now to fight this issue?

    Best thing is to just lower the taxes on the smokes and eradicate the smuggling problem. Then more of the taxpayers dollars can go into the taxpayer, the hospitals/healthcare system, and other useful programs, rather than fighting a never-ending battle that is perpetuated by the government in the first place.

    And now we have the McGuinty government sitting there, about to pass the HST, while also attempting to sue big tobacco companies when they have profited off the sale of death the whole time. Talk about having your cake and wanting to eat it too.

  2. Grimalot, thanks for the breakdown of the figures, it was quite interesting. It took three police forces (RCMP, Surete de Quebec, Sherbrooke Police) to put this together netting them 43 cases of unstamped cigarettes. It took them from September 2008 until November 2009 to do this. 2150 bags at approximately $15/bag equals $32,250 seized and off the market. How much did the the three police services pay their men over 14 months of work on this case? Is the job worth the cost? It will get worse shortly, when the Fiberals apply their HST to everything!

  3. Its like the time 2 cruisers showed up at my place to report to me that they think my truck was stolen.

    I blew the engine. Parked it on the side of the road where I could find a safe place to pull it over. I left the hood up. Hazards on. Cracked the windows a bit to let the smoke dissipate. Even locked the doors. Left it for morning when I could better do something to get it out of there.

    Next morning, 2 cruisers show up at my place. Sir, we think your truck was stolen. “Oh where did you find it”, they tell me the story above. I say, those had to be the nicest thieves ever to steal it, blow the engine, park it nicely on the side of the road. Leave the hazards on, crack the windows, lock the doors. I want those thieves to steal my truck next time. 2 cruisers, one officer in each. Traveling about an hour out of town to tell me this. One cruiser would have sufficed. Better yet, a phone call would have done it. Considering you could see a trail of fluids for about 500 feet behind the truck by the time I got it pulled over in a safe place.


    I mean not to say that I don’t appreciate the gesture. But 2 cruisers to report to me that they “Think” my truck was stolen was just a little bit excessive.

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