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B.C. police seize $11M worth of contraband cigarettes along with guns, drugs

February 13, 2024  By The Canadian Press


Feb. 13, 2024, Surrey, B.C. – Police in British Columbia say an investigation spanning several communities has led to the largest one-time seizure of contraband cigarettes in the province, with a retail value of $11 million, along with guns, ammunition and illegal drugs.

A statement from the Combined Special Enforcement Unit says it received information last August prompting the investigation that expanded throughout B.C.’s Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island.

It says suspects were connected to “gangs and organized crime” and police executed seven search warrants over two days in late January.

The statement says the searches in Langley, Abbotsford, Surrey and Victoria resulted in the seizure of 35 pallets of contraband cigarettes worth $11 million, as well as 32 guns, including handguns, assault rifles and shotguns.

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Sgt. Brenda Winpenny says the tobacco seizure is the largest of its kind in B.C.

Police say four suspects were arrested and “released pending the judicial process.”

The police statement does not indicate whether the suspects have been charged.

The statement issued Tuesday says police also seized 10 pallets of contraband liquor, half a kilogram of cocaine, 80 kilograms of marijuana, a cocaine press, a speed boat and eight vehicles, including a stolen Porsche SUV.


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