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Manitoba RCMP seize 1.2 million illegal cigarettes during traffic stop

This Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019 photo shows a group of cigarettes in New York.
This Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019 photo shows a group of cigarettes in New York. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison)

Manitoba RCMP have seized more than a million illegal cigarettes during a traffic stop just over the Ontario border.

Officers pulled over the vehicle heading west on the Trans-Canada Highway near Falcon Lake around 3 p.m. Monday.

READ MORE: More than 1 million contraband cigarettes seized from semi in Manitoba

A search of the vehicle found 120 cases of illegal tobacco, containing 1.2 million cigarettes.

A search of the vehicle found 120 cases of contraband cigarettes.
A search of the vehicle found 120 cases of contraband cigarettes. RCMP Handout

Issa Ahmad, 47, and Behzad Ahmed, 40, both from Edmonton, are each facing criminal charges for trafficking contraband tobacco, as well as charges under the Tax Administration and Miscellaneous Taxes Act (TAMTA) and the Excise Act, 2001.

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If convicted, police say the pair could face a mandatory triple tax penalty of nearly $1.1 million under the TAMTA.

Both men have been released on a promise to appear in court in Winnipeg March 2.

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