Over 10,000 kilograms of contraband tobacco seized at Peace Bridge port of entry

From: Canada Border Services Agency

March 28, 2019 Fort Erie, Ontario Canada Border Services Agency

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced today the seizure of over 10,000 kilograms of undeclared loose leaf tobacco at the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie.

On March 16, 2019, a border services officer working at Peace Bridge Commercial Operations referred a tractor trailer with a shipment declared as automotive parts for a secondary examination.

Upon examining the trailer, border services officers discovered 102 boxes of undeclared loose leaf tobacco weighing a total of 10,178 kg with an estimated value of $1.01 million. All tobacco was seized.

The truck driver, Robert Wilhelm Gunther, of Kitchener (Ontario) was charged by the CBSA with:

– False or deceptive statements, contrary to the Customs Act, section 153(a);

– Evasion of compliance, contrary to the Customs Act, section 153(c);

– Attempt to smuggle, contrary to the Customs Act, section 159; and,

– Unlawful Possession of Unstamped Tobacco Products, contrary to the Excise Act, section 32(1).

Gunther is scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in St. Catharines on May 2, 2019.

The investigation continues.

Additional multimedia

One of the 102 boxes filled with undeclared loose leaf tobacco seized at Peace Bridge on March 16, 2019.
Shipment of 102 boxes containing over 10,000 kg of undeclared loose leaf tobacco seized at Peace Bridge on March 16, 2019.

“I am very proud of our officers and our investigators for their vigilance and dedication to ensure that our borders are not used for illegal activity.”

– Kim Upper, Acting Director, Fort Erie District Operations, Southern Ontario Region, Canada Border Services Agency

Quick facts

  • The CBSA’s role is to facilitate the entry of legitimate travel and trade.

  • Smuggling and other Customs Act offences may lead to seizure action and/or prosecution in a court of law.

  • If you have information about suspicious cross-border activity, please contact the CBSA toll-free Border Watch Line at 1-888-502-9060.

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