CAMPBELLTON (GNB) – Enforcement officers with the Department of Justice and Public Safety seized 242,224 illegal cigarettes following investigations in the Campbellton area on Aug. 29 and 30.

The seizures were the result of investigations concerning the transportation of tobacco not stamped in accordance with Section 2 of the Excise Act contrary to section 121.1 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

Tickets were issued under the Tobacco Tax Act.

The tobacco seizure represents a provincial tax value of about $61,815 and an additional federal tobacco excise tax value of about $50,867. 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 prevalent 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).