A significant amount of illegal tobacco has been taken off the street following a vehicle stop by members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police North East Nova Traffic Services and the Roving Traffic unit of Amherst, along with Service Nova Scotia’s Compliance and Special Investigations Unit.
On Friday, Oct. 21, in the Fort Lawrence area of Cumberland County, two arrests were made and 71,821 contraband cigarettes, with a tax value of over $19,000, were seized.
A 57-year-old Halifax man and a 41-year-old Dartmouth female were released on court-related documents. Charges are pending under the Revenue Act and the Criminal Code. Both are scheduled to appear in Amherst court in January.
“When you purchase contraband tobacco you’re funding criminal activity,” said Cpl. Janet Leblanc of RCMP Northern Corridor Traffic Services.
Service Nova Scotia, through the Audit and Enforcement section of the Alcohol, Gaming, Fuel and Tobacco Branch, is responsible for reducing illegal tobacco in Nova Scotia by working with its law enforcement partners, and through education and enforcement.
Since 2006-07, the amount of illegal tobacco present in the province has decreased from 30 per cent of all tobacco consumed down to between five to 10 per cent.
Anyone with information regarding the sale and manufacturing of illegal tobacco is asked to contact their local police or Crime Stoppers toll free at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), text TIP202 and your message to ‘CRIMES’ (274637) or by Secure Web Tips at www.crimestoppers.ns.ca. Calls to Crime Stoppers are not taped or traced and if police make an arrest and lay charges based on a tip, callers qualify for a cash reward from $50 -$2000.