The Akwesasne Mohawk Police confirmed Sunday that a speeding minivan that smashed into and killed an elderly New York couple Friday night contained boxes of contraband cigarettes.

But police did not say whether the driver, 21-year-old Dany Gionet, who was also killed, was a cross-border smuggler. The minivan's licence plates were not registered.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police began the pursuit of Gionet in Cornwall. Akwesasne police took over the chase when he entered Mohawk territory, but backed off due to high-speed danger.

At about 8 p.m., Gionet failed to halt at a stop sign and crashed into a car driven by Edward Kassian, 77, of Massena, N.Y. He and his wife Eileen, along with Gionet, all died at the scene.

The Ontario Provincial Police and the province's Special Investigations Unit have both assisted with the investigation. Two Akwesasne police officers are also involved.