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Saskatchewan Highway Patrol Inspection Results in Seizure of Illicit Tobacco

Released on March 21, 2024

Members of the Saskatchewan Highway Patrol (SHP) and the RCMP were recently involved in the seizure of approximately 6.6 million unstamped cigarettes worth an estimated $3.3 million on the illicit market. 

"Proactive enforcement activities are vital to keeping our roadways and communities safe across the province," Corrections, Policing and Public Safety Minister Paul Merriman said. "Thanks to an observant Saskatchewan Highway Patrol officer, criminal activity in our province has been curbed once again." 

On March 1, 2024, an SHP officer with the Ministry of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety's Provincial Protective Services (PPS) Branch stopped a commercial vehicle on Highway #1, east of Indian Head.

During the course of the roadside check, the officer conducted a search of the trailer, which revealed 22 pallets of unstamped cigarettes. 

As a result, the driver and passenger, both from Ontario, were taken into custody by the SHP, and the cigarettes and semi-trailer were seized. The Indian Head RCMP have taken carriage of the file in consultation with the SHP and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Finance.

"The PPS Saskatchewan Highway Patrol is aware that commercial vehicle drivers sometimes use transportation routes for illegitimate purposes," Acting SHP Inspector Craig Gelsinger said. "This is yet another example of how our dedicated and well-trained officers show their commitment to intercepting these illicit goods."

As a result of the investigation, RCMP have charged the driver and passenger with several counts under the Criminal Code (Excise Act) and The Tobacco Tax Act. The driver was released and is scheduled to appear in Indian Head Provincial Court in June. The passenger was remanded to appear at Regina Provincial Court; the passenger was also found to have breached a Conditional Sentence Order in relation to a customs related offence with the Canadian Border Services Agency.


For more information, contact:

Ariane Whiting
Corrections, Policing and Public Safety
Phone: 306-787-8621

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