Man fined heavily for shipping smokes by FedEx

A Red Deer man has been fined $185,000 on two counts of having tobacco in his possession that was not properly stamped.

A Red Deer man has been fined $185,000 on two counts of having tobacco in his possession that was not properly stamped.

The stamp is essential to show that someone has paid the proper taxes on the product.

Scott Austin Smith, 35, pleaded guilty in provincial court in Calgary on Monday to two counts under section 32 under the Excise Act 2001 in relation to offences that took place on Dec. 15, 2008, and Dec. 24, 2008.

Staff Sgt. Paul Ariss, with the customs and excise section of the RCMP, said the cigarettes were shipped through FedEx, but broke open in transit. Police were called in and questioned Smith.

In the first offence, more than 650,000 cigarettes were found and 27,000 grams of tobacco. In the second incident, 150,000 cigarettes were found to have been shipped to Smith.

Smith was fined $150,000 for the first offence and $35,000 for the second offence. He has two years to pay.

If he defaults on the first fine, he will be given three years jail time and if he defaults on the second fine, he will be given an additional 18 months of jail time consecutive to the first jail sentence.

Contraband cigarettes for which taxes have not been paid normally go for $12 to $15 per carton on the street. A carton of cigarettes in stores costs between $75 and $90 in Canada.