Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 28/11/2011 (3580 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
BRANDON -- The province has again raided the Dakota Chundee Smoke Shop and Gaming Centre.
Shortly after 12:30 p.m. Monday, provincial authorities and supporting RCMP officers entered the smoke shop, located near the community of Pipestone southwest of Brandon, and seized several cartons of Mohawk cigarettes.
"They said they seen us selling them, and we're taking everything, they said," shop employee Charles Blacksmith told the Brandon Sun. "I just stepped aside."
Provincial spokesperson Jodee Mason confirmed a "small amount" of cigarettes were taken.
Dakota Chundee opened its doors earlier this month, the brainchild of Chief Orville Smoke of Dakota Plains First Nation and Chief Frank Brown of Canupawakpa First Nation, all under the name of the Great Buffalo Nation Dakota.
Chundee began selling federally approved tobacco products supplied by Mohawk distributors in Quebec for about $40 a carton; cartons of 200 cigarettes normally sell for about $98 in Manitoba. The Mohawk company, Kahnawake First Nation-based Rainbow Tobacco, is challenging provincial tobacco licensing authority in the Prairie provinces.
The cigarettes are federally stamped under the Excise Act 2001 but are not marked for legal sale in Manitoba.
Group spokesman Craig Blacksmith said about 30 cartons were taken by provincial authorities in yesterday's raid. However, within an hour of the raid, smoke shop employees had replaced the seized cigarettes and the operation was back open for business.
"We're open for business right now," Blacksmith said at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Monday.
This is the second time the shop has been raided by provincial authorities. On Nov. 15 the Manitoba Finance Special Investigations Unit seized approximately 89,550 contraband cigarettes from the smoke shop.