Saskatchewan officials seize cigarettes imported from Quebec

REGINA — Saskatchewan officials have seized 100 cartons of cigarettes they say have been illegally imported into the province.

REGINA — Saskatchewan officials have seized 100 cartons of cigarettes they say have been illegally imported into the province.

The Ministry of Finance says the cigarettes originated on the Kahnawake reserve in Quebec.

The department says in a news release that the smokes “appear to be part of a broader attempt by a reserve-based company … to market its tobacco in western Canadian provinces.”

Finance enforcement officers, along with the RCMP border integrity officers, took custody of the cigarettes at a Saskatoon courier depot earlier this week before they reached their intended destination.

It is illegal for anyone in Saskatchewan to import cigarettes that have not had provincial taxes paid on them.

The provincial tax amounts to $42 per carton of cigarettes.

Cigarettes from Rainbow Tobacco of Kahnawake have also been seized in both Alberta and British Columbia in recent weeks.

In early January, Alberta officials seized 14 million cigarettes from a property on the Montana First Nation near Hobbema, Alta..

The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission says the cigarettes were not properly marked for legal sale in Alberta, which is in violation of its Tobacco Tax Act.