The value of a joint operation against the sale of illegal cigarettes and alcohol in Spalding has been put at just over £12,000, it has emerged today.
A total of ten stores were raided by police, trading standards and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officers in a “multi-agency” operation on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Figures released by HMRC showed that seven stores gave up 36,260 cigarettes, with an estimated taxable value of £11,639, 1.4kgs kilos of hand-rolling tobacco worth £342 and 12.6 litres of spirits worth an estimated £162.
Two vehicles were also seized during the operation which also targeted stores in Boston, Grantham and Lincoln where, in total, more than 130,000 cigarettes, 42 kgs of hand-rolling tobacco and 3,570 litres of beer, wine and spirits, were seized, with a taxable value of almost £55,000.
Andy Wright, principal trading standards officer at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “This is a clear example of partnership working at its very best. “The result is a credit to the combined efforts of all the agencies involved who understand the impact that such illegal activity can have on the local community.
“This seizure sends a clear message that we will not tolerate the import or sale of counterfeit and illicit products in our county.”
This result is a credit to the combined efforts of all the agencies involved who understand the impact that such illegal activity can have on the local communityAndy Wright, principal trading standards officer at Lincolnshire County Council
In all, 36 stores and off-licences were raised in Lincolnshire and officers took goods from 20 of them, including alcohol and tobacco worth nearly £2,000 in lost tax revenues.
Stuart Taylor, assistant director of the Fraud Investigation Service at HMRC, said: “The sale of illegal tobacco and alcohol will not be tolerated by us or our partner agencies.”