The RCMP Customs and Excise Unit in Sydney has seized 910,000 contraband cigarettes after searching a vehicle and residential shed in North Sydney.
On October 30th, 2011, officers seized a truck and camper trailer from a property on Margaret Street in North Sydney and following a search of both, located 55 cases or 550,000 cigarettes of contraband in the trailer. The cigarettes were packaged in cartons, each containing 200 cigarettes, and were labeled “DISCOUNT” with the U.S. Surgeon General warning on the packaging.
On a search of the camper trailer, officers determined that the trailer had been modified for the concealment and transport of the contraband tobacco.
“Typically we see contraband packaged in clear bags. It is rare that our members see contraband packaged in this sophisticated manner,” says Insp, John Ryan, RCMP Federal Support Officer for Cape Breton. He added, “The RCMP is committed to identifying those persons who are connected to criminal and organized crime groups in an effort to disrupt the contraband supply chain.”
Officers later searched a shed at the Margaret Street property and located another 36 cases of cigarettes or 360,000 cigarettes. The contraband was packaged as cartons and in clear ziploc bags.
A 52 year-old North Sydney man is facing charges of Unlawful Possession of Unstamped Tobacco and Possession of Tobacco without Taxes Paid under the Customs and Excise Act.
The investigation is continuing.