WOODSTOCK (GNB) – The Department of Justice and Public Safety, in partnership with the Woodstock Police Force, seized 219,800 illegal cigarettes as a result of a joint forces investigation on Jan. 9. A 2007 Dodge Caravan was also seized.

A 63 year-old male from Nackawic was arrested and is to appear in Woodstock Provincial Court. Charges are anticipated under the Tobacco Tax Act and the Criminal Code of Canada. The investigation continues.

The provincial tax value of the seized tobacco is about $56,144.

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).