Salmon Arm  

Sicamous RCMP seize thousands of contraband nicotine pouches, vape products over long weekend

Easter weekend vape bust

Sicamous RCMP seized more than 1,000 tins of contraband nicotine pouches and 1,400 more contraband nicotine vape products from a Mercedes SUV on Good Friday.

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil announced the bust in a statement released April 2.

“On March 29, Sicamous RCMP, working with a member of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU) from Kelowna, stopped a Mercedes SUV for the Motor Vehicle Act infraction,” McNeil said.

“The driver and lone passenger were later arrested for possession for the purpose of trafficking after the officers established grounds to believe the vehicle contained illegal drugs.”

Instead of drugs, officers discovered a large amount of contraband nicotine products.

“A search of the vehicle yielded just over 1,000 cans of flavoured nicotine pouches in boxes which did not display the required Excise Act seal,” McNeil said. “Officers seized a further 1,400 individual vape products which were also not displaying the Excise Act seal."

McNeil said a bag containing about $8,000 in cash was also found and seized.

Police said they believe the suspects intended to sell the flavoured nicotine pouches to local retailers who would then sell them to the public.

In February 2024, the B.C. government passed new rules banning the sale of nicotine pouches from any retailer except pharmacies on a non-prescription basis. Nicotine pouches are under different regulations than other nicotine products because they contain no tobacco products and are not inhaled into the lungs.

Sicamous RCMP also seized the Mercedes SUV that was being used to transport the contraband product.

“The driver, a 23 year old B.C. man, and the 20-year-old passenger were released without charge,” McNeil said.

“Police continue to investigate the matter with potential charges under the Excise Act with consideration of an application to Civil Forfeiture for the seized cash and vehicle.”

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