More illegal tobacco has been taken off the streets of Nova Scotia following a lengthy investigation by Service Nova Scotia’s Compliance and Special Investigations Unit.
On Thursday, Sept. 14, following a 13-month investigation into contraband tobacco smuggling into Nova Scotia, two traffic stops were initiated near Amherst, Cumberland Co. Two men, aged 47 and 37, from Sackville, Nova Scotia, were found in possession of more than 651,200 illegal cigarettes. They were arrested and two vehicles were seized.
The seized tobacco has a tax value of $179,210 in provincial taxes and $136,752 in federal taxes. The Cumberland District RCMP, Halifax RCMP, officers of the Sûreté du Québec Contraband Tobacco Unit, and officers of the New Brunswick Department of Public Safety and Justice, Contraband Enforcement Unit, assisted Service Nova Scotia with the investigation.
The men are scheduled to appear in Amherst Provincial Court on Dec. 27, to face charges under the Nova Scotia Revenue Act, Excise Act 2001 and Criminal Code.
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.
Service Nova Scotia’s interprovincial and interagency cooperation with law enforcement partners is a valued asset, as it assists greatly in the fight against contraband tobacco smuggling.
Since 2006-07, the amount of illegal tobacco in the province has decreased from 30 per cent of all tobacco consumed to less than 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 a seizure of illegal tobacco is made based on a tip, callers qualify for a cash reward.