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14 million contraband cigarettes seized
Published Thursday, January 6, 2011 5:51PM MST
Fourteen million contraband cigarettes have been seized on the Montana First Nation near Hobbema.
The cigarettes were found stored in a Quonset that belonged to the First Nation. Chief Carolyn Buffalo of the Montana First Nation did not deny that the cigarettes were in the possession of the First Nation.
"We are fully cooperating with the RCMP and the AGLC."
Sources confirm to CTV News the cigarettes belonged to the Rainbow Tobacco Company based on a First Nation near Montreal.
The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) is now leading the investigation. Buffalo first called police to report the cigarettes were being stored in a First Nation owned building.
The AGLC says the cigarettes were not properly marked for legal sale in Alberta, which is in violation of the provincial Tobacco Tax Act.
"For tobacco products to be legally sold in Alberta they have to be labelled as legal for sale in Alberta, they also have to have the tax paid on them before they are sold and in this case this tobacco did not have that legal labelling on it, nor was tax paid," said Lynn Hutchings-Mah with AGLC.
The investigation continues.
The tobacco has a street value of about $7 million. No arrests have been made but police say they have a good indication of who was involved in the case.
"We have some people of interest," said Const. Perry Cardinal with Hobbema RCMP.
The AGLC says charges are likely coming.
With files from Sean Amato
Fourteen million contraband cigarettes have recently been seized in the Ponoka area. Supplied.