Mounties seize $400K-worth of contraband cigarettes in Duncan

Mounties seize $400K-worth of contraband cigarettes in Duncan
BC Highway Patrol
The seized cigarette cartons are flanked by the suspect's truck and trailer.

The BC Highway Patrol says a traffic stop led to the discovery of $400,000-worth of contraband tobacco in the Duncan area.

On June 15, Mounties say they pulled over a pickup truck for suspected impaired driving along the Trans-Canada Highway.

The truck was towing a cargo trailer and was moving “well under the posted speed limit,” according to the BC Highway Patrol, and was having difficulty staying in its lane.

After police pulled over the truck, they spotted 46 cases of unstamped and untaxed cigarettes.

Mounties say each case contained 50 cartons of cigarettes, totalling 2,300 cartons.

Police say the total number of cigarettes amounts to more than $400,000 in retail value, and $250,000 in tax revenue.

“Tax revenue collected from tobacco products supports our healthcare system and the sale of unstamped tobacco is often tied to organized crime,” said Sgt. Brad Robinson, Unit Commander of BCHP – Duncan.

The driver was arrested for trafficking-related charges, and RCMP believe the driver will likely face criminal charges, as well as charges through the Tobacco Tax Act and Canada’s Excise Act, 2001.

“Unstamped tobacco is a growing concern in B.C. Our BC Highway Patrol officers are committed to using their pipeline training to investigate those involved in trafficking illicit tobacco,” said Robinson in a release Thursday.

Earlier this year, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia said it seized $11 million worth of contraband cigarettes during an operation that spanned Victoria, Langley, Abbotsford and Surrey.

In March, VicPD said it also seized 3,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes, as well as $130,000 in cash when executing a search warrant a suspect’s home in Esquimalt.

Adam ChanAdam Chan

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!