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Province Seizes Over 2.4 Million Cigarettes and 60 Kilograms of Waterpipe Tobacco in Joint Operation

Court Bulletin

Province Seizes Over 2.4 Million Cigarettes and 60 Kilograms of Waterpipe Tobacco in Joint Operation

Ministry of Finance

Description of Seizures: On January 28 and 31, 2020, Ministry of Finance investigators participated in an operation with the Ontario Provincial Police. The ministry seized 2,402,000 unmarked cigarettes and 60 kilograms of waterpipe tobacco. Seven people were charged under the Tobacco Tax Act.

Date Location Seized
January 28, 2020 Hamilton 45,800 unmarked cigarettes
January 28, 2020 Hamilton 21,000 unmarked cigarettes
January 28, 2020 Hamilton 200,000 unmarked cigarettes;
60 kilograms waterpipe tobacco
January 28, 2020 Hamilton 35,200 unmarked cigarettes
January 31, 2020 Cayuga 2,100,000 unmarked cigarettes

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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