News release

Major Illegal Tobacco Seizure in Halifax Regional Municipality

A significant amount of illegal tobacco has been taken off the street following a seven-month investigation by Service Nova Scotia's Compliance and Special Investigations Unit.

On Tuesday, May 31, arrests and property searches were executed in a joint operation by Service Nova Scotia, Halifax Regional Police's Emergency Response Team and the RCMP's Federal and Serious Organized Crime Unit.

Three rental storage units on Tacoma Drive and Windmill Road in Dartmouth were searched, resulting in the seizure of four vehicles, 870,000 contraband cigarettes and an undetermined amount of cash. The cigarettes have a street value of about $152,000.

Three Halifax area men and an Ontario resident have been arrested and will appear in court Aug. 24. Charges are pending against the four individuals under the Revenue Act, Excise Act and the new provision of the Criminal Code for contraband tobacco smuggling. The estimated amount of lost tobacco tax revenue is $240,000.

"I want to congratulate our enforcement staff and police agencies for the professional execution of these search warrants and their success in removing this contraband tobacco from our streets," said Service Nova Scotia Minister Mark Furey. "The amount of illegal tobacco in the province has decreased over the last 10 years and it is a result of the dedication of these agencies."

Two of the Halifax area men and the Ontario man have been released, while the other Halifax area man is to appear in court today, June 1, on a separate matter.

Service Nova Scotia was the lead agency in the investigation. Its Audit and Enforcement division of the Alcohol, Gaming, Fuel and Tobacco Branch, is responsible for eliminating illegal tobacco in Nova Scotia.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

A significant amount of illegal tobacco is off the streets following a seven-month investigation by Service Nova Scotia's Compliance and Special Investigations Unit.

On Tuesday (May 31st) arrests and property searches were executed with the assistance of Halifax Regional Police and the RCMP.

Three rental storage units in Dartmouth were searched, resulting in the seizure of four vehicles, 870,000 contraband cigarettes and an undetermined amount of cash.

The cigarettes have a street value of about $152,000.

Three Halifax area men and an Ontario resident have been arrested and will appear in court on August 24th. Charges are pending under the Revenue Act, Excise Act and a new provision of the Criminal Code for contraband tobacco smuggling.

The estimated amount of lost tobacco tax revenue is $240,000.

-30-

Media Contact:

Tracy Barron
902-223-1465 Email: