Man arrested, 100,000 illegal cigarettes seized after investigation

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Stock photo supplied by RCMP of contraband tobacco.

Members of the P.E.I. RCMP Serious and Organized Crime Unit have arrested a Charlottetown man and seized more than 100,000 illegal cigarettes after a three-month investigation.

The man was arrested Jan. 3, and two Charlottetown residences were searched as a result of Operation Lava, which focused on the importation and sale of illicit cigarettes in the Charlottetown area.

Police seized over 10 cases of contraband, totaling 101, 280 cigarettes with an estimated value of over $34,000 in taxes lost to Islanders.  Also seized as a result were two motor vehicles.

"Islanders who buy or sell contraband cigarettes should be aware that both activities are illegal and the safety of our communities can be at risk from these sales," stated an RCMP news release. "Contraband tobacco is often the initial foothold of larger criminals which leads to more serious illegal activities in our communities."

The investigation continues and charges under the Excise Act, P.E.I. Tobacco Tax Act, Highway Traffic Act and the Criminal Code are expected.

Anyone with any information on the sale illegal cigarettes or suspicious activity is asked to contact the Prince Edward Island RCMP customs and excise unit at 566-7112 or P.E.I. Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Organizations: RCMP

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • justanother po'dtaxpayer
    January 07, 2013 - 22:31

    nice to see that they also took two motor vehicles. How about they start taking the vehicles from people who commet thiefts on our island? Get caught with booze or cigerettes that haven't been taxed to death and you get great big fines and lose your car BUT get caught with stolen goods ( that had the taxes paid by the rightful owner) and you MIGHT get a slap on the hand. It isn't this present gov that is at fault, it is every gov we had for the last 40 or 50 years.

  • city resident
    January 07, 2013 - 21:54

    For you who are doing the math , go back to school. 101,280 divided by 34,000 = 2.9788 cents per cigarette

    • mej
      January 08, 2013 - 09:56

      My word. If you take 2.9788 cents per cigarette and multiply it by 101,280 cigarettes, you would get $301, 692 in taxes...you better do that math again!!! Try taking the $34,000 and dividing it by the number of cigarettes 101,280 and see what you get!

    • you should all go back to school
      January 09, 2013 - 09:36

      Actually, you divide $34,000 by 101,280 and it's just under 34 cents tax per smoke (assuming the $34,000 is a rounded figure). Suggest you all go back to school and learn how to do simple math.

  • Sadie
    January 07, 2013 - 21:05

    I am more worried about welfare moms smoking crack than smoking cigarettes. Put all the pushers to death.

  • David
    January 07, 2013 - 19:09

    Geez now what are the workers at the GST Centre in Summerside supposed to smoke?

  • Eve Marsals
    January 07, 2013 - 15:18

    Smoking kills people. Who is more stupid? The fool that smokes or the criminal that thinks he can sell an illeagle product? They should just ban smoking completely and lock up all the losers.

    • okay
      January 07, 2013 - 15:26

      This is one of the most idiotic comments I have seen

  • fred
    January 07, 2013 - 14:45

    That;s funny lol . The p.e.i. gov. is on the top of the list for organized crime; in canada !

  • TAX CRIMES ONLY
    January 07, 2013 - 14:15

    This Government does not care about drug dealers. Drug dealers are not taking tax money away from them but people selling cigarettes or alochol do. Furthermore they might have to put drug dealers in jail which will cost them money. If it takes money out of their Pay our Buddies Fund then that is a crime.

  • gerry
    January 07, 2013 - 13:24

    @ Joe Blow-"they will be buying more bootlegged smokes and booze to save a few bucks so maybe they can also afford to heat their homes for a winter, or pay their outrageous electric bill." Really??? Who buys booze and cigarettes if they can't afford to purhcase fuel or electricity, priorities!

    • ha.
      January 07, 2013 - 15:23

      A lot of people

  • corrupt
    January 07, 2013 - 13:14

    Well I fell much safer now. Oysters from Ch'town harbor anyone?

  • Captain Canuck
    January 07, 2013 - 12:46

    OK, Kudos on the bust. However, I'd like to point out that we're not in danger of inviting crime to our little Eden by selling and buying illegal smokes. Trust me, we have crime here already - organized crime too. In fact, I predict we will soon have DRUGS on PEI too!

  • How much
    January 07, 2013 - 12:31

    I dont condone illegal cig's-but how much money did the RCMP spend on 3 months investigating this? I'd be willing to guess more than 34,000 worth....go after the drug dealers and pill problem-as a taxpayer I could care less about 100,000 illegal smokes

  • Joe Blow
    January 07, 2013 - 12:26

    Over $34,000 lost in taxes to Islanders??? Since when does Islanders get to see any tax dollars collected by this Robot Gizz government??? They collect the taxes and disperse them to their families and close friends and party supporters in the form of government loans....Islanders don't get a sniff of any of it. As far as I'm concerned....this is the kind of thing that is only going to get worse with the government bringing in HST and making it harder for people of PEI to live....they will be buying more bootlegged smokes and booze to save a few bucks so maybe they can also afford to heat their homes for a winter, or pay their outrageous electric bill. The worst thing about it is that government will spend a ton of money to try and catch these people on top of that, making things even worse and more costly for all Islanders. The Ghiz government has to go....they have no grasp of normal life on PEI....they just see the things that effect them directly, which isn't much since they are all overpaid and stealing government money for personal use.

  • don
    January 07, 2013 - 12:10

    OPERATION LAVA IS A GREAT NAME FOR TV SHOWS. as i said before ghiz owns the RCMP and ALL police on PEI. NO ONE CAN TOUCH THE KING. what we need is a person to look into the PNP that cares nothing for ghiz or his gang.

    • slim
      January 07, 2013 - 13:11

      Don if you think the ghizmo owns the RCMP just wait until bill C-42 gets royal assent and then we'll see who runs the yellow coats aka the RCMP.

  • don
    January 07, 2013 - 12:05

    if they paid the tax's on the smokes the government would be happy more money.

  • Do The Math
    January 07, 2013 - 11:42

    That's almost $3 per cigarret, and that's supposedly just the taxes. The RCMP or the Guardian should get a new calculator.

    • DO THE MATH AGAIN
      January 07, 2013 - 12:26

      More like 33.57 CENTS per smoke. Thanks for the update though

    • Correct the Math
      January 07, 2013 - 12:37

      Don't know where you learned your calculations "DO THE MATH", but mine tell me the taxes are 33.57cents per cigarette. Clue in!

    • I did the math
      January 07, 2013 - 12:44

      I did the math and it works out to be $8.50 a pack not $3.00 a smoke

  • Slip
    January 07, 2013 - 11:22

    Who supplied/manufactured the cigs?

  • Brian
    January 07, 2013 - 11:16

    The government say this is illegal (and yes it is) and that taxpayers are loosing money. However, us tax payers are already loosing money due to the fact that the goverment is wasting money on things they do not need such as 2 new vehicles for their members of their government team. I say that they do not want to admit it in the papers that it's them that are loosing money on this illegal cigarettes and not the tax payers, because if they can not get the tax money from this stuff than they can not waste it on things they do not need.

  • operation lava is a great name for tv shows
    January 07, 2013 - 11:10

    The name of the operation is always important with our national police force. What is the "operation name" of the RCMP investigation into the PNP which seems toothless sorting out hundreds of millions of stealing by Ghiz, MacMillan with all the lawyers and accountants????

  • islander
    January 07, 2013 - 11:00

    Government is only worried because they are not getting any tax money on these ciggarettes.

    • Lady Taxpayer
      January 07, 2013 - 12:15

      I am glad that government is worried when someone evades paying taxes on a product that causes multiple health concerns and costs taxpayers money. Why wouldn't they be 'worried' that someone is breaking the law and stealing from the honest taxpayers in the province, or for that matter, in the nation? Glad we have the RCMP on this. Also, can the people who buy the 'cheap' cigarettes be sure that they don't have 'weird' stuff in them and are they willing to pay for their own health care when they have a pile of smoking related diseases.

    • That's Right
      January 07, 2013 - 14:19

      Correct. That is why it's an issue. What is your point?