CAMPBELLTON (GNB) – Enforcement officers with the Department of Public Safety seized 99,217 illegal cigarettes and one vehicle following traffic stops on Dec. 13 and 14.

The seizures were conducted in Campbellton and Miramichi. The vehicle that was seized had been used to transport illegal tobacco products.

A 46-year-old man from Grand Falls and a 52-year-old woman from Lakeville were arrested for transporting unstamped cigarettes contrary to Section 121.1 of the Criminal Code of Canada. The investigations are ongoing.

The tobacco seizures represent a provincial tax value of about $22,000 and an additional federal tobacco excise tax value of $20,800.

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).