Public Safety Canada

Public Safety Canada

July 31, 2008 17:30 ET

Major Tobacco Companies Plead Guilty to Violations Under the Excise Act

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 31, 2008) - The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety, made the following statement today concerning an RCMP investigation that has led to two of Canada's largest tobacco companies - Imperial Tobacco Canada Limited and Rothmans Benson & Hedges - entering guilty pleas in response to indictable offences under the Excise Act. The two companies pleaded guilty to "aiding persons to sell and be in possession of tobacco manufactured in Canada that was not packaged and was not stamped in conformity with the Excise Act."

"I would like to commend the RCMP for their intensive investigation that has successfully culminated in the charges being laid and the entering of guilty pleas under the Excise Act.

Illicit cigarette sales undermine our economy and have a significant impact on the safety of our communities and our economy; tobacco trafficking supports organized crime, which in turn funds other crimes like drug and gun smuggling.

This is why the government worked diligently with the RCMP to introduce a Contraband Tobacco Enforcement Strategy. These measures to combat the growing contraband tobacco market help front-line police officers in their effort to stem and seize the flow of illicit tobacco-related products.

This government is determined to tackle crime whether it be a single individual or a large corporation."

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Stockwell Day
    Minister of Public Safety
    Melisa Leclerc
    Director of Communications