On December 16, 2013, the Manitoba Finance Taxation Special Investigations Unit and the Winnipeg Police Service stopped a vehicle in the Transcona area of Winnipeg and found 150 cartons of contraband tobacco products in the vehicle. Police say that the 46-year-old male driver of the vehicle faces charges under the Manitoba Tobacco Tax Act and the Manitoba Tax Administration and Miscellaneous Taxes Act.
Subsequent to this stop, a search of a Transcona residential property was conducted and a further 481 cartons of contraband tobacco were found and seized. As a result, a 68-year-old male faces similar charges under the provincial statutes. The investigation into this matter continues.
The accused in these incidents each face fines of $1,000 to $10,000 and/or up to six months in jail. They also are liable to a triple tax penalty of $26,100 in relation to the tobacco found in the vehicle and $83,694 in relation to the tobacco located in the residence. Manitoba stood to lose $36,598 in tax revenues if this tobacco had reached the black market.
If anyone has information on contraband tobacco, they are urged to contact their local police department, Manitoba Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477), the Manitoba Finance Taxation Special Investigations Unit at 204-945-1137, the RCMP Customs and Excise Section in Winnipeg at 204-983-5423 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.