October 7, 2022

La Ronge Northerner

Complete Canadian News World

Under the noses of customs officials: More than 1,000 tons of tobacco passed through trucks

The group of truckers admitted in court that they smuggled more than 1,000 tonnes of smuggled tobacco under the nose of Canadian customs officials over a period of nearly two years.

From September 2017 to May 2019, the criminal organization smuggled a total of 88 tractor-trailers loaded with tobacco across the United States.

The fraud caused more than $ 217 million in losses on federal tobacco taxes and taxes, as we learned during the trial of eight co-defendants in Longueuil court this week.

The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA)’s project allowed investigators to detect the activities of smugglers, including truckers, transport companies and importers of goods.

The purpose of the fraud was to smuggle the tobacco to the Kahnavak Indian Reserve on the south bank of the Montreal.

On May 10, 2018, they seized 17,382 kg of tobacco, indicating more than $ 2.5 million in federal obligations and tax evasion.

Archive photo

On May 10, 2018, they seized 17,382 kg of tobacco, indicating more than $ 2.5 million in federal obligations and tax evasion.

Instead of fruits and vegetables

To fool the customs officials, two operating methods were used. First two trucks have to cross the border at the same time. Carrying legal items such as fruits and vegetables prescribed for a reputable company. This type of export is considered “low risk” by the CBSA.

The other driver was loaded with prohibited tobacco and used a cover transaction from the same or similar product distribution company for the first formal transaction.

And drivers will change their trailer shortly before crossing the lines. They then took back the respective items once in Canada.

See also  All You Need To Know About Belmont Park

The other function, which involved a trucker, was to cover the material with a load loaded to the brim with wooden shavings. To do this, the organization created an imaginary company, Les Produits Forestiers Drummond.

CBSA investigators were able to dismantle this network through various intelligence techniques including shadow, analysis of phone records and other communications from cell phones, location data and financial data.

We see the vehicle of one of the truckers being sent for secondary inspection.  He tried to replace the truck tractors and trailers with a second driver to avoid looking for tobacco loads.

Archive photo

We see the vehicle of one of the truckers being sent for secondary inspection. He tried to replace the truck tractors and trailers with a second driver to avoid looking for tobacco loads.

Two seizures

The first operation using two trucks was completed in May 2018, after 17,382 kg of smuggled tobacco was seized at the Saint-Bernard-de-Lacol Post.

The criminal organization hid the goods in wooden chips, a year later, until the second seizure, this time at the Hertman Border Crossing, about thirty kilometers from Salbury-de-Valleyfield.

Two key leaders in the eight co-defendants, Martin Besset and Eric Laundry, were responsible for regulating the entry of tobacco into the country.

Do you have information to share with us about this story?

Got a scoop that will interest our readers?

Write to us or call us directly 1 800-63SCOOP.