Over 2 ½ tons of fine cut tobacco seized by CRTF
On March 2nd, 2016, while on patrol members of the Cornwall Regional Task Force (CRTF) spotted five (5) snowmobiles pulling snow tub sleds loaded with what appeared to be garbage bags. The snowmobiles were seen traveling eastbound on the frozen St Lawrence River shoreline in the area of Fraser Point, Quebec. Officers observed several individuals moving the bags from the tubs to an awaiting white cube van parked nearby. Once the van was loaded, it departed the shoreline area heading southbound then proceeded eastbound onto Route 132. Members were unable to intercept the snowmobile operators prior to them departing the area. Officers maintained surveillance on the cube van until it was stopped by a Sûreté du Quebec patrol vehicle a short time later. One (1) male (23 years of age) from Valleyfield, Quebec and another male (32 years of age) from Les Coteaux, Quebec were subsequently arrested by CRTF members for being in possession of contraband fine cut tobacco. During this investigation, police seized a total of 2,678 kilograms of fine cut tobacco along with the conveyance used for this alleged offence, a 2005 White GMG Savana cube van.
Charges are pending for the individuals noted above, under the provisions of the Excise Act, 2001. If they are found guilty each individual is facing a minimum fine of $696,280.00 dollars and/or imprisonment up to 5 years. These individuals are also facing charges under the provincial Tobacco Tax Act in Quebec for being in possession of unmarked cigarettes. For privacy reasons, their names cannot be released until charges are officially deposed in court.
“I am proud of the CRTF members who continue to demonstrate their commitment to Canadians at securing our border,” said Inspector Steve Ethier, Officer in charge of the Cornwall Regional Task Force, “Together with you, the public, and our partners we can stop organized crime in their quest of establishing themselves in our area.”
The CRTF is a joint forces partnership that includes the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ontario Provincial Police, Canada Border Services Agency, and the Ontario Ministry of Finance. CRTF is proud to be in partnership with Sûreté du Quebec Contraband Investigation. We would like to extend to them our thanks for their ongoing assistance and cooperation.