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This article was published 15/5/2009 (4211 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A routine traffic stop near the Manitoba-Ontario border yesterday led RCMP to discover 1.75 million contraband cigarettes worth $395,000.

A 45-year-old Quebec man was arrested, and faces charges under the Manitoba Tobacco Tax Act.

The seizure was part of a traffic safety check on a westbound rental truck on the Trans Canada Highway during National Road Safety Week. RCMP found 150 cases of illegal, unmarked cigarettes in plastic bags and 25 cases of "discount" brand cigarettes when the rental truck was stopped in the West Hawk Lake area.

None of the cigarettes had proper tax stamps. The man could face fines up to $5,000, up to three months in jail, or a tax penalty of more than $970,000.

city.desk@freepress.mb.ca