Video shows thousands of illegal cigarettes, medicines and cash found in ‘elaborate remote secret compartment’ beneath shop floor
Thousands of illegal cigarettes have been seized by Trading Standards officers after they were found in an ‘elaborate remote control hide’ in a shop.
Acting on a tip off from a member of the public, officers from Lincolnshire Trading Standards and Lincolnshire Police visited the shop in the centre of Spalding on Thursday, March 24.
Footage captured by Trading Standards officers shows how the cigarettes were concealed beneath the floor in an elaborate hide activated by a remote. Other, legal, shop stock – including kitchen roll and coffee – was piled on top to help conceal the secret compartment. The video shows a remote control being activated and the floor beginning to rise, with the stock still on top, to reveal the cigarettes underneath.
As well as the illicit tobacco, officers also found a stash of illegal medicines and a large quantity of cash.
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The goods were seized, and the matter is now under investigation.
Andy Wright, Principal Trading Standards Officer with Lincolnshire Trading Standards, said: “We will now conduct an investigation to establish the person, or persons, responsible. Our objective is to remove dangerous tobacco products from the market. It is a legal requirement that cigarettes self-extinguish if left unattended, but illegal cigarettes do not have this important safety feature. Unfortunately, we’ve seen how the consequences of this missing safety feature have proved fatal in Lincolnshire.
“In many areas of Lincolnshire we see a distinct relationship between retail of illegal cigarettes, anti-social behaviour, drugs, modern day slavery, and violent crime. The sale of illegal cigarettes is unacceptable to law abiding members of the community, but few realise the connection to more serious crime. If you have any information you feel may assist, we ask that you contact us.”