Nova Scotia

$500K of illegal cigarettes seized in Cape Breton

A Cape Breton man is facing a number of charges after RCMP seized hundreds of thousands of contraband cigarettes earlier this week.

A Cape Breton man is facing a number of charges after RCMP seized hundreds of thousands of contraband cigarettes earlier this week.

Police seized 910,000 contraband cigarettes after searching a vehicle with a camper trailer in North Sydney.

Inside there were 55 cases of illegal cigarettes.

"[The trailer] was modified and the insides of the trailer was taken out, so it could accommodate the cases of cigarettes and then the top was put back on," said RCMP Insp. John Ryan. "So when they were travelling the road and towing the trailer, it appears that it was just a camper trailer."

Another 36 cases were discovered inside a shed. There are 200 cartons of cigarettes in each case, others were loose in clear plastic sandwich bags.

"Most people think they are buying a pack of cigarettes and getting a good deal on them," said Ryan. "But the impact is significant."

Police say people that buy illegal cigarettes are helping to support organized crime. They say the money is often used for other criminal activities.

"This kind of activity is linked to organized crime. The cigarettes here are manufactured in the United States. They come across the border tax-free and sold to the public at a lower cost," he said.

A 52-year-old man from North Sydney faces various tobacco charges.

Police believe the seizure took at least $500,000 of illegal cigarettes off the street.

   

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