Nine tobacco smugglers have been sentenced by the Court of Quebec to pay fines totaling nearly $1 million, Revenue Quebec announced on Tuesday.
These nine people were accused of having sold, transported or delivered or had in their possession tobacco intended for retail sale in Quebec and whose package was not identified in accordance with the Tobacco Tax Act.
The smugglers did not hold any of the permits required by law to carry out commercial activities related to tobacco products, Revenu Québec also reported.
The heaviest sentence was given to a 47-year-old man from Moncton, Sébastien Leblanc, who will have to pay a total of $220,718.01 to the state.
On July 18, 2020, 350,198 cigarettes were seized during a search of his vehicle and trailer parked in front of a Sainte-Catherine motel.
His driver's license was also suspended for 30 days.
The court also sentenced Denis Maynard, 73, of Upton, to fines totaling $188,634 and 90 days in jail.
The septuagenarian notably admitted, last June, to having sold 253,200 contraband cigarettes following an investigation by the Sûreté du Québec (SQ).
New York smugglers David Mackenzie Terrance and Travis Roy Terrance, 24 and 23 respectively, were each fined $148,851.
Their convictions stem from an investigation by the SQ and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
A search carried out on February 25, 2021, in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, notably led to the seizure of 999 kg of raw tobacco.
Other offenders received fines between $18,000 and $76,560.