After two investigations, Manitoba RCMP have seized over a million contraband cigarettes.

On October 2, RCMP conducted a traffic stop with a vehicle on the Trans-Canada Highway, three kilometres east of Richer. 

Following a discussion with the driver, officers conducted a search of the vehicle and uncovered 488,800 illegal cigarettes, as well as 149 1.75-litre bottles of non-duty paid alcohol.

RCMP arrested Jason Michael Rondeau, a 37-year-old male from Thunder Bay. He is facing numerous trafficking contraband tobacco and alcohol charges.

On October 27, Manitoba Finance investigators approached three men in a Winnipeg back lane who were in the process of transferring boxes clearly identifiable as contraband cigarettes from a business location into a vehicle.

The investigators seized the cigarettes because they were not marked for Manitoba tax purposes. In total, 687,800 cigarettes were seized along with a large sum of cash. 

Three men are facing multiple charges including possession of non-Manitoba marked tobacco.

The province urges anyone who has information on contraband tobacco to contact their local police department, call the Manitoba Finance Special Investigations Unit at 204-945-1137, email or call Manitoba Crime Stoppers (toll-free) at 1-800-222 TIPS (8477).