Saskatchewan Highway Patrol officers made a critical stop on a Saskatchewan highway that led to the seizure of $1.1 million in illegal tobacco products. A government release indicates approximately 1.9 million unstamped cigarettes were discovered, and the driver of the truck carrying the contraband was taken into custody.
"Thanks to this observant officer in the Saskatchewan Highway Patrol, we were able to prevent organized crime from using Saskatchewan's roadways to profit from illegal activity," Corrections, Policing and Public Safety Minister Paul Merriman said. "This is just one example of the excellent work the Saskatchewan Highway Patrol and Provincial Protective Services do every day to ensure public safety in our province."
On August 31, 2023, an officer with the SHP within the Ministry of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety's Provincial Protective Services (PPS) Branch stopped a commercial vehicle on Highway #1 east of Indian Head for an inspection. During the course of the inspection the officer conducted a search of the trailer, which revealed six pallets of unstamped cigarettes.
As a result, the driver of the truck was taken into custody by the SHP, and the cigarettes were seized, along with a power unit and a semi-trailer. The Indian Head RCMP have assumed the case in consultation with the SHP and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Finance.
"The Saskatchewan Highway Patrol is steadfast in its commitment to keeping the roadways in Saskatchewan safe," Inspector Alex Heron of the Saskatchewan Highway Patrol said. "I am extremely proud of the work all our officers do on a daily basis to prevent our roads from being used for criminal activity that will negatively impact Saskatchewan communities."
As a result of the investigation, RCMP have charged the driver with several counts under the Criminal Code (Excise Act) and The Tobacco Tax Act.