Four face charges in province’s largest contraband tobacco seizure

  • Apr. 20, 2011 4:00 p.m.

Edmonton – The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) has laid charges against four individuals for violations of provincial tobacco legislation.

The charges result from an investigation related to the January 5 seizure of contraband cigarettes on the Montana First Nation. The initial estimate was 14 million cigarettes, but a thorough inventory of the product showed nearly 16 million contraband cigarettes were seized. The cigarettes were valued at just over $3 million in lost tax revenue to the province.

Robbie Dickson, Jason Lucas and Dwayne Ouimet are charged under the Tobacco Tax Act for allegedly not being licensed to import tobacco into the province for resale.

In addition, Carolyn Buffalo, Robbie Dickson and Dwayne Ouimet face two charges each under the Tobacco Tax Act for allegedly storing tobacco products that are not marked for legal sale in Alberta and for allegedly possessing more than 1,000 cigarettes.

The maximum penalties for these violations include $20,000 fines, six-month prison terms or both. If convicted, the individuals could also receive an additional fine of up to three times the amount of tax avoided.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding with Alberta Finance and Enterprise, the AGLC conducts various compliance inspections at tobacco retailers related to the Tobacco Tax Act. The AGLC investigators also work with local police agencies on investigations of contraband tobacco.