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Province Seizes Over 2.8 Million Unmarked Cigarettes

Court Bulletin

Province Seizes Over 2.8 Million Unmarked Cigarettes

Ministry of Finance

Description of Seizures: On November 8, 2019, Ministry of Finance investigators participated in an operation with the Ontario Provincial Police and local police. The ministry seized 2,853,400 unmarked cigarettes and eight people were charged under the Tobacco Tax Act.

Date Location Unmarked Cigarettes Seized
November 8, 2019 Hamilton 2,600
November 8, 2019 Burlington 20,800
November 8, 2019 Hamilton 100,000
November 8, 2019 Hamilton 2,730,000
Total:  2,853,400

Quick Facts

  • Cigarettes sold in cartons or packages without Ontario’s yellow stamp are illegal, subject to certain exceptions.
  • Cigarettes sold in clear plastic bags are illegal, as is engaging in the tobacco business without the required permits.
  • In addition to court-imposed fines for contraventions of the Tobacco Tax Act, convicted individuals and businesses may be required to pay civil penalties.
  • Since June 2018, Ontario recorded 428 Tobacco Tax Act convictions yielding fines of more than $3.6 million, 47 jail terms, 27 probation terms, and two community service terms.
  • The Ministry of Finance offers local law enforcement agencies a grant program to support tobacco investigations within their jurisdiction. Contact TEGP@ontario.ca for more information.

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