News Releases

Media Bulletin - Manitoba

April 5, 2019

PROVINCE SEIZES OVER 240,000 CONTRABAND CIGARETTES ALONG WITH CANNABIS AND OTHER DRUGS



Manitoba Finance’s Taxation Special Investigations Unit recently seized 243,920 contraband cigarettes along with quantities of cannabis and illicit drugs.

Two Winnipeg men were found in possession of illegal tobacco products that were not marked for Manitoba tax purposes.  These individuals now face charges under The Manitoba Tobacco Tax Act, The Tax Administration and Miscellaneous Taxes Act and the Criminal Code.  This seizure also included quantities of illegal cannabis, cannabis edibles and opiate pills that were turned over to the Winnipeg Police Service.  The investigation is ongoing.

In relation to the seized tobacco, Manitoba stood to lose $71,956.40 in tax revenue if these products had been sold.  For a first-time offence, individuals face fines between $1,000 and $10,000 and/or up to six months imprisonment.  If convicted, they are subject to a triple tax penalty.  Due to a previous conviction under the aforementioned acts, one of the individuals will face fines between $10,000 and $50,000 and/or up to a one-year imprisonment.  In addition, they may face a quadruple tax penalty of $287,825.60.

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).

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