February 19, 2019 5:26 pm

Winnipeggers facing hefty fines for selling illegal smokes

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A group of enterprising Winnipeggers is facing big fines for selling illegal tobacco in the city.

Investigators for Manitoba Finance seized over 45,000 contraband cigarettes from three local stores, the province announced Tuesday.

In addition to the 45,117 illegal smokes, 3,600 stolen cigarettes and $10,506 in cash were also seized from the three locations, which were all owned and operated by the same people.

If the contraband cigarettes had been sold, the province would have lost more than $14,000 in tax revenue.

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The stolen cigarettes were reportedly taken during a break-and-enter from another Winnipeg location.

READ MORE: Manitoba authorities seize half a million illegal smokes, cigars

Five people were found to be selling or in possession of illegal tobacco products, and are now facing charges under the Manitoba Tobacco Tax Act and the Tax Administration and Miscellaneous Taxes Act.

If convicted, they’re facing fines between $1,000 and $10,000, as well as up to six months imprisonment.

They’re also subject to a triple tax penalty of over $43,000 if convicted.

WATCH: Buyer beware: Winnipeg police warn charges can be laid for ‘steal of a deal’ online purchases

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