A Richmond man was sentenced to house arrest and fined almost $50,000 for smuggling more than 10,000 kilograms of unstamped chewing tobacco.
The Canadian Border Security Agency said Thursday that Mehboob Karim Alladina pleaded guilty on June 21 at provincial court in Richmond after smuggling $475,600 worth of tobacco from India between 2008 and 2016.
The agency said it first became aware of the 71-year-old car salesman in 2009, when Alladina paid a traveller to smuggle 14 kilograms of tobacco through the border at Boundary Bay in Delta.
Between July 2008 and November 2009, Alladina ordered unstamped tobacco from a U.S. company called Zarda King and shipped it to a mailbox in Point Roberts, Wash. – the other side of the Boundary Bay crossing.
In November 2009, border guards intercepted the traveller at Boundary Bay and seized $2,831 worth of tobacco.
Starting in 2010, Alladina placed larger orders with Zarda King and split them with an Ontario-based associate named Raamkumar Raaman, paying him $85,490 for his portion of the tobacco.
Alladina and Raaman ended up importing about 8,500 kg of tobacco, worth about $361,500, resulting in an estimated total of $704,365 of evaded federal duties and taxes.
In June and July 2016, Alladina partnered with another Ontario man to bring 336 kilograms, valued at $23,300, into the country. He stored these at Surrey storage unit.