Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Two men busted for illegal smokes

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Two Manitoba men face charges of possessing unmarked cigarettes.

The Manitoba Finance taxation division special investigations unit and the Winnipeg Police Service stopped and detained the two suspects on Wednesday, the province said today.

Searches of a vehicles and a private garage in Winnipeg uncovered 1,564 cartons and six packages (312,950 cigarettes) not marked for sale in Manitoba.

With the help of RCMP, subsequent searches of a vehicle and two residences in the RM of Rosser led to the seizure of $31,135 in cash believed to be the proceeds of crime. One loaded firearm was also found.

Two men, aged 60 and 67, face charges of possession of non-Manitoba marked cigarettes under the Manitoba Tobacco Tax Act and the Tax Administration and Miscellaneous Taxes Act. They each face fines of $1,000 to $10,000 and/or up to six months in jail and a triple tax penalty of $272,266.50.

Manitoba stood to lose $90,755.50 in tax revenues if this tobacco had been sold on the black market, the province said.

Winnipeg police say the 69-year-old man from Winnipeg has also been charged with failing to comply with a condition of undertaking and was detained at the Winnipeg Remand Centre.

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