Smuggler will pay his fine for 2,083 years

A smuggler will pay his fine for 2083 years

MISE & Agrave; DAY

To pay their hefty fines that can sometimes reach $ 2.5 million, cigarette smugglers make payment deals with the state for monthly amounts so laughable it will take more than 2,000 years before paying off their debt.

Despite a slow decline, contraband cigarettes continues to be lucrative for many sellers, big and small. & nbsp;

< p>According to the most recent figures, Quebec is deprived of approximately $ 125 million in tax revenue by this illegal trade and it is for this reason that violators must refund the tax that should have been paid on each cigarette sold. & nbsp;

For example, Claude-René Cloutier, head of a network and repeat tobacco smuggler, was again arrested and then sentenced in 2019 for having sold more than seven million cigarettes on a period of two years.

The 57-year-old Drummondville resident was sentenced to the maximum penalty, a fine of $ 2.5 million. & nbsp;

Whoever had 12 months to pay finally agreed with the fine collector to pay a sum of $ 100 each month.

The reimbursement of such a sum will therefore take him at this rate. . 2083 years before paying off their debt.

Compensatory work

Other offenders opt for compensatory work in order to pay the fines. However, the law allows a maximum of 1,500 hours of community service.

For example, an offender like Steven Gabriel of Kanesatake, who was ordered to repay his debt of nearly $ 2.4 million for the seizure of 3.1 million cigarettes and tobacco, will reimburse $ 1,595 for every hour worked. A 90-day prison sentence to be served on weekends was also imposed in his case. & Nbsp;

Default of payment

Several individuals among the thirty or so offenders whose files have been analyzed by Le Journal find themselves in default of payment, and the collector of fines then begins a recovery process. & nbsp;

This is the case for one of the three accomplices sentenced to a fine of $ 213,000 each, after being arrested near the Beauharnois Canal by the Sûreté du Québec with 1,430 kilograms of tobacco in their possession.

The youngest of the group failed the authorities. He might, however, have an interest in making a payment arrangement like his two other accomplices who have 355 years at $ 50 per month to pay their fine. & Nbsp;

Note that a review of the agreement can be made by the collector of fines, particularly for these two offenders, aged 24 and 26, who risk paying for several decades for their youthful error.


Claude-René Cloutier | Drummondville & nbsp;

  • Conviction date: November 19, 2019
  • Fine: $ 2.5 million & nbsp;
  • 12 month deadline to pay
  • Payment agreement of $ 100/month
  • He has 2083 years to pay

Denis Roy | Sainte-Barbe

    < li dir = "auto"> Conviction date: September 24, 2020
  • Fine: 333 333 & nbsp; $
  • Payment agreement: $ 50/month
  • He has 555 years to pay & nbsp;

Steven Gabriel | Kanesatake

  • Conviction date: January 20, 2021
  • < li dir = "auto"> Fine: 2 392 909 & nbsp; $

  • Deadline: 3 months to pay
  • Commitment to compensatory work & nbsp;: 1500 hours & nbsp;
  • His work is therefore equivalent to $ 1595.27 an hour

Serge Rolland | Drummondville

  • Conviction date: August 27, 2019
  • Fine: $ 1,000,000
  • 12 month deadline to pay
  • 1500 hours of community service
  • His work is therefore equivalent to $ 667 & nbsp; an hour & nbsp;

A debt for life for offenders & nbsp;

The smokers of contraband cigarettes are often simple smokers who do not know how important the impacts of such an offense are, argues a lawyer specializing in this kind of case.

If the picture painted by Le & nbsp; Journal presents the smugglers who smuggle millions of illegal cigarettes, several small consumers pinned also find themselves with fines regularly exceeding the $ 50,000. & Nbsp;

“Often, it is people who do not realize that the police oversee tobacco shacks”, says Me Cynthia Lacombe, who often deals with this type of case.

15 cents per cigarette

Except that the law sets the fine at around 15 cents per cigarette, which can be quintupled depending on the circumstances.

“& nbsp; ; It goes up quickly, assures the lawyer, that exceeds the capacity to pay and especially the profit which they could make. & Nbsp; “

Several offenders have tried to challenge the height of these fines in court, basing themselves on Article 12 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to denounce a “cruel or unusual punishment”, but they all encountered a end of inadmissibility of the courts. & nbsp; & nbsp;

“& nbsp; It is a pure debt, it will not be erased until as long as we pay & nbsp;”, affirms the lawyer .

Criminal record

In addition, there is a criminal record and, if the case falls under federal authorities such as the RCMP, the seizure of the vehicle on -the spot, as well as a possible prison sentence. & nbsp;

Compensatory work can be carried out, but this only in the case of offenders who have demonstrated that they are not able to pay. & nbsp;

“& nbsp; People do not know how much they will regret it & nbsp;”, concludes Me Cynthia Lacombe.

Despite the importance of the fines and the large number of years for rem scholarship, cases are usually closed when a person dies.

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