Sixteen arrested in Akwesasne contraband tobacco ring: report

Fine cut contraband tobacco. (RCMP via Newswatch Group, File)

AKWESASNE – An RCMP-led contraband tobacco ring investigation has reportedly led to the arrests of 16 people.

The 16 men and women were mainly from Quebec, but there were suspects from Lancaster, Ont. and Hogansburg, N.Y.

Montreal radio station CJAD says the accused range in age from 21 to 61.

The suspects are appearing in a Valleyfield, Que. court today on various charges including possession of unstamped tobacco products.

Most of the shipments by boat – around 150 of them — were coming from the New York State side of Akwesasne to areas of western Quebec, through Kahnawake.

This latest action is part of Project Cendrier, which has made marijuana and cocaine smuggling busts since last summer leading to at least 30 arrests.