Deer Lake, Newfoundland and Labrador – A twenty-two-year-old man from Gambo and a fifty-five-year-old man from Cormack are facing a number of charges following a significant seizure of contraband tobacco at a traffic stop in Deer Lake that took place on September 20, 2022.
As part of an ongoing investigation by the RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime Unit (FSOC) based in Gander, police conducted a traffic stop with assistance from RCMP Traffic Services West, and searched a truck and a 15-foot utility trailer in Deer Lake. Officers found 7,500 cartons of contraband tobacco, 100 cartons of contraband cigars, a small quantity of marihuana and a quantity of Canadian currency.
A carton of contraband tobacco typically sells for between $55-$60, putting the total street value of the tobacco seized in the range of $412,000.00 to $450,000.00. This amount of tobacco would represent an approximate loss of $1,650,000.00 in revenue to the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and ultimately to the province as a whole.
Both men were arrested and released from police custody and are set to attend court at a later date. They will face charges under the Federal Excise Act, 2001, for the possession of unstamped tobacco, as well as charges under the Provincial Revenue Administration Act for the possession of contraband tobacco.
Although crimes involving contraband tobacco are thought by many to be victimless in nature, the loss in revenue for business owners in legal sales, as well as residents of the province as a whole for the loss of tax revenue, has a great impact. The purchase of contraband tobacco supports the profits of those involved in the organized crime activity of trafficking contraband tobacco, as well as furthering other criminal activities of Inter-Provincial Organized Crime Groups.
RCMP NL Federal Serious and Organized Crime targets criminal activity involving national security, transnational and serious organized crime and cyber crime throughout the entire province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
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