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Illegal Tobacco and Cannabis Sales Uncovered in Winnipeg Convenience Stores

Illegal Tobacco and Cannabis Sales Uncovered in Winnipeg Convenience Stores
Winnipeg police investigation leads to more than 30 charges

By: Staff Writer I Winnipeg Tribune

Winnipeg, February 2, 2024 - In a recent operation carried out by the Winnipeg Police Service's Community Support Units, several convenience stores in Winnipeg have been exposed for selling age-restricted items, including illegal tobacco products and cannabis, to minors.

The investigation, which took place between September 6, 2023, and January 19, 2024, was conducted under the purview of Manitoba's Tax Administration and Miscellaneous Taxes Act and the Smoking and Vapour Products Control Act.

During the inspections, three stores located in the 700 block of Sargent Avenue, the 600 block of Westminster Avenue, and the 800 block of Talbot Avenue were identified as offenders. Despite these products being strictly age-restricted to individuals over 18, they were openly displayed and accessible to minors during regular business hours. Furthermore, authorities uncovered cartons of illegal cigarettes and cannabis products concealed within these stores.

An additional twist to the investigation was the absence of the store owners, who were found to be out of the country. Consequently, arrest warrants were issued for charges related to violating the Provincial Acts governing these products.

On January 8, 2024, two employees, a 23-year-old male and a 25-year-old male, both from the store in the 700 block of Sargent Avenue, were apprehended and charged with offenses related to the sale of cannabis and tobacco to minors.

Finally, on January 30, 2024, with assistance from the RCMP, Harpreet Mangat, a 41-year-old female and the owner of these stores, was apprehended upon her return to the city. Mangat now faces a staggering 30 charges, including those connected to the sale of unmarked tobacco products and the promotion of cannabis and accessories aimed at young individuals.


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