News Release - February 2, 2011
TOBACCO ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS MAKE SEIZURE
Tobacco enforcement officials with the Ministry of Finance have seized 100 cartons of cigarettes illegally imported into Saskatchewan.
The cigarettes originated on the Kahnawake reserve in Quebec and appear to be part of a broader attempt by a reserve based company there to market its tobacco in western Canadian provinces.
Cigarettes from Rainbow Tobacco of Kahnawake have also been seized in both Alberta and British Columbia in recent weeks.
Acting on a tip, finance enforcement officers, in conjunction with RCMP border integrity officers made the seizure at a Saskatoon courier depot earlier this week before they reached their intended destination.
It is illegal for anyone in Saskatchewan to import cigarettes that have not had provincial taxes paid on them.
A penalty in the amount of three times the tax may be imposed for contravening the Tobacco Tax Act 1998. In addition, a person convicted of contravening the Act may also be subject to a fine of up to $10,000 and in the case of a corporation, a fine of up to $50,000 may be imposed.
"The law is very clear on this point," Deputy Premier and Finance Minister Ken Krawetz said. "We have a responsibility to uphold the law and see to it that tax policies are administered fairly across the province."
The provincial tobacco tax amounts to $42 per carton of cigarettes. The case remains under investigation.
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