More than three million cigarettes were seized from one individual as part of the investigation dubbed Project Shrek, officials announced Thursday.
The operation looking into the smuggling of illegal cigarettes into Manitoba was led by the special investigations unit of Manitoba Finance’s compliance and enforcement division with help from police in Quebec, Ontario and Winnipeg.
Investigators say more illegal cigarettes were also confiscated from others, and in all, more than 3.4 million contraband smokes were seized.
The confiscated cigarettes represent more than $1,027,844 in tax revenue to the province, officials said.
Financial tax penalties stemming from the investigation could reach more than $4 million upon conviction, the province said.
In all, six adults are facing a variety of charges under the Tobacco Tax Act, the Tax Administration and Miscellaneous Taxes Act and the Criminal Code.
Three Winnipeg convenience stores are also facing charges and suspension of their retail tobacco licences as a result of the seizures.