The searches and subsequent arrests were the result of a three-month investigation project named “Operation LAVA” which focused on the importation and sale of illicit cigarettes in the Charlottetown area.
Police seized over 10 cases of contraband totalling 101,280 cigarettes with an estimated value of over $34,000 in taxes lost to Islanders. Also seized as a result were two motor vehicles.
The RCMP reminded Islanders, who buy or sell contraband cigarettes, that both activities are illegal.
The investigation continues and charges pursuant to the Excise Act, P.E.I. Tobacco Tax Act, Highway Traffic Act and the Criminal Code are expected.
Anyone with any information on the sale of illegal cigarettes or suspicious activity is asked to contact the Prince Edward Island RCMP Customs and Excise Unit at 566-7112 or use the services of P.E.I. Crime Stoppers which offers a number of anonymous options available to submit information. If your tip is useful in the investigation, you may be eligible for a reward.
P.E.I. Crime Stoppers can be reached by phone 1-800-222-TIPS(8477); by computer via www.peicrimestoppers.com; on the P.E.I. Crime Stoppers Facebook page, by SMS Text (Text TIP162 plus your message to 274637 (CRIMES); or by using the iPod app.