Port aux Basques, Newfoundland and Labrador – Three men are facing contraband tobacco charges following the search of a cube van conducted by Channel-Port aux Basques RCMP on February 26, 2020.
At approximately 8:30 a.m., police received a request for assistance from highway enforcement officers who informed that a cube van by-passed the required check-in at the weight scales. The vehicle was stopped further down the road and was escorted back to the weight scales. The occupants refused to allow highway enforcement officers to search the back of the van and were behaving in a suspicious manner.
RCMP attended the scene, conducted an investigation with assistance from Bay St. George RCMP Police Dog Services and General Investigation Section, and suspected contraband tobacco was being transported within the vehicle. Police obtained a search warrant, searched the van and found 3,300 cartons of contraband tobacco and a quantity of alcohol.
One carton of contraband tobacco typically sells for between $40-$50, putting the total street value of the tobacco seized at $165,000. This amount of tobacco would represent an approximate loss of $363,000 in revenue to the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
A 32-year-old St. John’s man and two men from Mount Pearl, ages 31 and 45, now face charges under the Federal Excise Act, 2001, for possession of unstamped tobacco and under the Provincial Revenue Administration Act for possession of contraband tobacco.
Channel-Port aux Basques RCMP
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