£10k haul of illegal cigarettes and tobacco seized in raids

Illicit cigarettes and tobacco worth more than £10,000 has been seized following a multi-agency operation in Wisbech.

Friday, 7th February 2020, 11:50 am

Enforcement officers carried out a number of raids on premises suspected of selling illegal tobacco and cigarettes following test purchases and intelligence received.

The operation was led by HMRC with Cambridgeshire County Council’s Trading Standards, police, the ervice, officers from Fenland District Council (licensing, environmental health, housing and street scene) and sniffer dogs from Wagtail International.

In total, they seized more than 30,000 cigarettes and more than 4kg of hand rolling tobacco from four premises. The haul was a mixture of counterfeit and illegally imported goods with a street value of more than £10,000. Investigations are ongoing following the seizures.

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Illegal cigarettes seized in a different raid

With the help of sniffer dogs, they discovered the cigarettes and tobacco hidden away inside walls and draws and a behind a safe.

Cllr Sam Clark, Fenland District Council’s portfolio holder for licensing enforcement, said: “Trade in illicit tobacco has serious consequences on the community. It causes poor health and brings criminal activity to the area.

“It’s also damaging to legitimate, local businesses who are being undercut by criminals and encourages young people to start smoking from an early age.

“It is great that so many partners are working together to tackle traders that break the law. We will continue to act on intelligence received and target premises suspected of being involved to disrupt this type of activity and prevent harm to the public.”