RCMP seize 700,000 smokes in smuggling case
Quebec man already fined $450k
A seven-month-long investigation into a cigarette-smuggling ring in Nova Scotia has resulted in the arrest of six men and the seizure of 700,000 cigarettes, six vehicles and about one kilogram of marijuana.
RCMP said the cigarette-smuggling ring was transporting smokes from Quebec to Nova Scotia for distribution throughout the Halifax Regional Municipality.
"Illegal tobacco is a large money-maker for organized criminal groups," Staff Sgt. Al Harding said in a news release.
"When people knowingly purchase or sell contraband tobacco they could be helping these types of criminal groups and often times the profits are used to finance drug trafficking, purchase illegal weapons and fund other illicit activities."
The Mounties executed four search warrants and arrested five local men: a 54-year-old Lower Sackville man, a 44-year-old Bedford man and three Dartmouth men aged 24, 54 and 56.
They all face charges of conspiracy to possess unstamped tobacco, possession of unstamped tobacco, possession of tobacco on which tax had not been paid and possession of tobacco not bearing the prescribed markings.
The 54-year-old Dartmouth man faces an additional charge of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.
All five have been released on a promise to appear in Dartmouth provincial court on Sept. 20.
A sixth accused, a 21-year-old man from Quebec, appeared in Dartmouth provincial court last week where he pleaded guilty to two charges under the provincial Revenue Act and the federal Excise Act. He was also fined $450,000.