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Twelve charged, 116 charges laid in joint investigation targeting contraband tobacco, Dartmouth, N.S.

RCMP in Nova Scotia, Federal and Serious Organized Crime Unit and Service Nova Scotia Compliance and Special Investigations Unit have charged 12 individuals and searched five convenience stores as part of an investigation into contraband tobacco.

In September 2014, officers commenced an investigation into the possible illegal wholesaling of tobacco products across the Halifax region. Service Nova Scotia conducts joint investigations with the RCMP and other enforcement agencies to combat the illegal sale of tobacco products.

Contraband tobacco is any tobacco that does not comply with all federal and provincial laws, including those governing importation, stamping, marking, manufacturing, taxes and duties.

During the course of the investigation, information gathered indicated Bridgeview Grocery was illegally wholesaling tobacco products to associated retailers/convenience stores throughout the Halifax region. As part of the investigation, officers seized 74 cartons of cigarettes and wrappers from an additional 93 cartons suggesting the cigarettes were removed from the packaging prior to resale. In addition, officers allege that an excess amount of contraband tobacco was being distributed amongst the 11 stores subject to the investigation.

Under the Revenue Act, no retail vendor is permitted to buy, sell or transport tobacco in excess of five cartons of tobacco unless it is purchased from a legitimate wholesaler or as indicated in the Revenue Act.

On Thursday, January 22nd, 2015, officers searched five stores; three in Halifax and two in Lower Sackville.
• Bridgeview Grocery, Bedford Highway
• Villa Plaza Kwik Way, Sackville Drive
• Kim’s Convenience – Herring Cove Road
• Cobequid Convenience , Cobequid Road
• Bluenose Convenience, Halifax

The following individuals have been charged and were released to appear in Dartmouth and Halifax Provincial Court on March 30th, 2015:

1) Akram Karam, 54, Halifax
Bridgeview Grocery
– 33 charges of section 39(3) of Revenue Act -Sale of Contraband Tobacco
– Two charges of section 78(3) of the Revenue Act Regulations

2) Nadia Karam, 44, Halifax
Bridgeview Grocery
– 11 charges of section 39(3) of Revenue Act -Sale of Contraband Tobacco
– One charge of section 78(3) of the Revenue Act Regulations

3) Caroline Collins, 53, Middle Sackville
Villa Plaza Kwik Way
– Four charges of section 39(2) of Revenue Act – Purchase of Contraband Tobacco
– Four charges of section 40 of Revenue Act – Transporting Contraband Tobacco
– One charge of section 39 (2) of Revenue Act – Possession of Contraband Tobacco

4) Sang Ho Back, 42, Halifax
Kim’s Convenience
– 17 charges of section 39(2) of Revenue Act – Purchase of Contraband Tobacco
– 17 charges of section 40 of Revenue Act – Transporting Contraband Tobacco
– One charge of section 39 (2) of Revenue Act – Possession of Contraband Tobacco

5) Mohammed Al-Showaiter, 30, Bedford
Cobequid Convenience
– One charge of section 39(2) of Revenue Act – Purchase of Contraband Tobacco
– One charge of section 40 of Revenue Act – Transporting Contraband Tobacco
– One charge of section 39 (2) of Revenue Act – Possession of Contraband Tobacco

6) Vijay Agnihotr, 57, Halifax
Jebaily’s and Cook’s Convenience
– Two charges of section 39(2) of Revenue Act – Purchase of Contraband Tobacco
– Two charges of section 40 of Revenue Act – Transporting Contraband Tobacco

7) George Israel, 60, Halifax
Israel Grocery
– One charge of section 39(2) of Revenue Act – Purchase of Contraband Tobacco
– One charge of section 40 of Revenue Act – Transporting Contraband Tobacco

8) Hossein Ghaderi, 23, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Nova Grocery
– Two charges of section 40 of Revenue Act – Transporting Contraband Tobacco
– Two charges of section 78(1) of the Revenue Act Regulations

9) Verinder Chopra, 57, Halifax
Bluenose Convenience
– One charge of section 39(2) of Revenue Act – Purchase of Contraband Tobacco
– One charge of section 39 (2) of Revenue Act – Possession of Contraband Tobacco

10) Sonia Chopra, 50, Halifax
Bluenose Convenience
– Two charges of section 40 of Revenue Act – Transporting Contraband Tobacco
– Two charges of section 78(1) of the Revenue Act Regulations

11) Ali Ghaderi, 21, Dartmouth
SNAXX Convenience
– Two charges of section 40 of Revenue Act – Transporting Contraband Tobacco
– Two charges of section 78(1) of the Revenue Act Regulations

12) Mingyan Zhu, 30, Halifax
Olivet Grocery
– One charge of section 39(2) of Revenue Act – Purchase of Contraband Tobacco
– One charge of section 40 of Revenue Act – Transporting Contraband Tobacco

 

Source: Release

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