Smugglers modify trucks to hide contraband tobacco

Smugglers modify trucks to hide contraband tobacco
The Cornwall Regional Task Force says an increasing number of smugglers are modifying their vehicles to hide tobacco contraband.

CORNWALL, Ontario – Smugglers are using creative ways to avoid getting busted by the Cornwall Regional Task Force.

A 25-year-old Cornwall man was arrested on Dec. 20 at the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) port of entry in the City of Cornwall after officers found 171 cartons of contraband cigarettes inside a false compartment in the driver’s 2001 Dodge Ram truck.

Two Akwesasne men were also arrested at the POE on Dec. 29 after officers discovered that the box of their pickup truck was on hinges. Inside they found 350 cartons of contraband tobacco.

The regional task force seizures made between August-December 2015 included 13 pickup trucks, five boats, five boat outboard motors, one boat trailer, 40.5 cases of cigarettes, and 7,693 kilograms of fine-cut tobacco.

“RCMP members have a great working relationship with partner agencies which continues to be demonstrated by our collective successes,” said Cornwall RCMP Insp. Steve Ethier.

The CRTF is a joint forces partnership that includes the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ontario Provincial Police, CBSA, Ontario Ministry of Finance, Sûreté du Québec Service des enquêtes sur la contrebande-Valleyfield, and the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service.

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