MONCTON (GNB) – Enforcement Officers from the Department of Justice and Public Safety seized 136,400 illegal cigarettes and a 2016 Chevrolet Silverado in Lakeville on Jan. 16 as a result of an ongoing investigation.

An 80-year-old man from Moncton was arrested and released on a promise to appear in provincial court at a later date. The investigation continues and charges are pending under the Tobacco Tax Act and the Criminal Code of Canada.

The provincial tax value of the seized tobacco is about $34,800.

The contraband tobacco market is estimated to represent a revenue loss to the province of $13 million annually.

Revenue from the sale of illegal tobacco is often funnelled into organized crime and supports the underground economy in New Brunswick. Illegal tobacco works against government cessation programs and poses a greater risk to increased smoking rates for youth. Smoking is the most important cause of premature death in Canada; each day, 100 Canadians die of a smoking-related illness.

Anyone with information on the sale and distribution of illegal tobacco is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).