Illegal cigarettes and booze operation in Spalding nets Â£12,000 catch
The value of a joint operation against the sale of illegal cigarettes and alcohol in Spalding has been put at just over Â£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.”
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.”