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Feb 19,2008
$1.5M in contraband cigarettes seized
by UPI

CORNWALL, Ontario -- Canadian authorities said they arrested a trucker for driving a trailer with $1.5 million worth of contraband cigarettes in southeastern Ontario.

In a joint operation involving the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Border Security Agency and the Ontario Provincial Police, the unidentified 47-year-old man was pulled over on a highway Sunday, the Ottawa Sun reported Tuesday.

There were more than 900 cases of cigarettes in the trailer valued at $1,526,250, which under the Excise Act and Tobacco Tax Act, is the minimum fine the man would face if convicted, police said.

Much of the contraband tobacco comes from Indian reservations where the cigarettes can be sold tax-free. However, they are subject to federal taxes if sold elsewhere.

UPI learned in Toronto a carton of 10 contraband packages sells for as little as $17, compared with more than $60 for legal cigarettes.

Copyright © 2008, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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