Close to 300,000 illegal cigarettes destined for streets in the province were seized this week by Service Nova Scotia, working in partnership with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
The tobacco has a tax value of $79,808 in provincial taxes and $60,900 in federal taxes.
The seizure was made on Wednesday, Dec. 21, in Lower Sackville. A 53-year-old male from Dartmouth was arrested and will appear in court today, Dec. 22, to face charges under the Nova Scotia Revenue Act, the Excise Act, and the Criminal Code.
The Service Nova Scotia Compliance and Special Investigations Unit was the lead investigator working in partnership with the Nova Scotia RCMP Serious and Organized Crime unit. The Lower Sackville RCMP detachment assisted with the arrest.
“Decreasing the sale and consumption of illegal tobacco is a core part of our work,” said Minister of Service Nova Scotia Mark Furey. “Contraband tobacco takes tobacco tax revenue away from public services Nova Scotians rely on, compromises public safety through links to organized crime and undermines provincial health objectives.
“Each seizure we make with our law enforcement partners helps keep our communities safe from this serious crime.”
Service Nova Scotia, through its Audit and Enforcement section, is responsible for reducing illegal tobacco in the province 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 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.
Calls to Crime Stoppers are not taped or traced. If police make an arrest and lay charges based on a tip, callers qualify for a cash reward between $50 to $2,500.