June 12, 2019 11:49 am

OPP reminding smokers of tobacco rules after seizing 2,500 illegal cigarettes near Guelph

Police are warning smokers to steer clear of illegal cigarettes.

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Wellington County OPP are reminding smokers of the rules surrounding illegal tobacco after officers say they seized 2,500 unmarked cigarettes near Guelph.

Police said an officer stopped a pickup truck in Aberfoyle on June 2 and found 14 cartons of cigarettes inside.

READ MORE: Wrong-way driver on Guelph’s Hanlon Expressway facing charges

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A 55-year-old man from Guelph-Eramosa Township was charged with two counts of possessing unmarked cigarettes and driving while prohibited.

He will make a court appearance on July 5.

OPP said illegal tobacco undermines public health and safety by supporting organized crime and providing people, especially young people, easier access to cigarettes.

They added that it takes millions of tax dollars away from public services and hurts local businesses that follow the law.

According to police, those convicted of possessing illegal tobacco may be fined three times the tax, up to $10,000. Possessing illegal tobacco could also mean a two-year prison sentence, police add.

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Police are urging anyone who sees illegal tobacco being sold to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

READ MORE: Wellington County OPP traffic safety blitz targets Erin, Ont.

Anyone buying cigarettes should make sure the pack has the yellow “ON Duty Paid Canada” stamp unless there is an exemption from paying tobacco tax.

More information can be found on the Ontario government’s website.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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