Tobacco products on which no tax has been paid. Declared contraband goods when held for purposes in violation of this chapter. Seizure by commissioner or agent
All tobacco products upon which taxes are imposed by this chapter, but upon which no tax has been paid, which are in the possession, custody or control of any person for the purpose of being consumed, sold or transported in this state for the purpose of evading or violating the provisions of this chapter or with intent to avoid payment of the tax imposed hereunder, and any automobile, truck, conveyance or other vehicle used in the transportation of such tobacco products, and all paraphernalia, equipment or other tangible personal property, incident to the use of such purposes, found in the place, building, vehicle or vehicles where such tobacco products are found, are declared to be contraband goods; and any house, building or other premises and any vehicle or other conveyance suspected of containing such contraband goods may be searched under due process of law; and any such contraband goods may be seized by the commissioner, his agents or employees, or by any peace officer of this state when directed by the commissioner to do so, without a warrant, provided nothing herein shall be construed to require the commissioner to confiscate any tobacco products or property when he has reason to believe that the owner thereof is not wilfully or intentionally evading the tax imposed by this chapter. Any property seized under the provisions of this chapter may, at his discretion, be offered by the commissioner for sale at public auction to the highest bidder after advertisement, as provided in section 12-330h, or he may dispose of such property in a manner in which he deems to be in the best interest of the state. The commissioner shall deliver to the State Treasurer the proceeds of any sale made under the provisions of this section. The seizure and sale of any tobacco products or other property under the provisions of this section shall not relieve any person from a fine or other penalty for violation of this chapter.