Three individuals charged under a March 2019 contraband tobacco bust were recently sentenced. Imad Assi entered a guilty plea to one count of Section 121.1 and received a $100,000 fine. Ibrahim Al-Sabbag and Mahmud Al-Sabbag had their charges stayed from prosecution.
On February 13, 2019, an estimated $2.5 million dollars (weighing 3,039 kilograms) of contraband waterpipe (shisha) tobacco and contraband cigarettes were seized following a joint investigation by Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis’ (AGLC) Investigations branch and the Alberta Sheriffs. The total potential lost tax revenue was estimated to be more than $972,000.
The seizure took place at a storage locker facility in central Edmonton. Imad Assi, Ibrahim Al-Sabbag and Mahmud Al-Sabbag were each charged with trafficking in contraband tobacco contrary to section 121.1 of the Criminal Code of Canada.
All wholesalers and importers of tobacco into Alberta must be licensed to sell or import tobacco for resale. Furthermore, all tobacco products must be labelled according to federal and provincial regulations. Albertans who suspect illegal tobacco production, packaging and/or trafficking are encouraged to contact AGLC’s Tobacco Enforcement Unit at 1-800-577-2522.