£18,000 of il­le­gal cigs seized in raids on shops

TRAD­ING STAN­DARD CHIEFS USE SNIF­FER DOGS IN CRACK­DOWN ON ROGUE STORES SELL­ING FAKE ‘BRAND NAME’ PACK­ETS

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By NEAL KEEL­ING news­[email protected] @MENnews­desk

IL­LE­GAL cig­a­rettes worth more than £18,000 have been seized af­ter raids on six shops.

Trad­ing stan­dards of­fi­cers car­ried out the swoops af­ter get­ting tip-offs from the pub­lic.

Us­ing snif­fer dogs, they found thou­sands of faked brand name cig­a­rettes in­clud­ing Marl­boro, Roth­mans, Ben­son and Hedges and some which had been il­le­gally im­ported from abroad with­out duty be­ing paid. They seized 26,870 cig­a­rettes and 247 pouches of hand rolling to­bacco dur­ing the raids in Sal­ford, with a street value of £18,133.

Trad­ing Stan­dards’ fi­nan­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tor also seized £1,605 cash un­der the Pro­ceeds of Crime Act (POCA), sus­pected of be­ing gained through il­le­gal sales.

POCA money is ploughed back into pos­i­tive com­mu­nity projects, such as steer­ing young peo­ple away from crime and into more en­force­ment ac­tiv­ity. Coun David Lan­caster said: “Peo­ple who smug­gle illicit cig­a­rettes and to­bacco, which do not carry the cor­rect health mark­ings as re­quired by UK law, do not pay duty on them. They are steal­ing from the tax­payer as duty paid goes into sup­port­ing pub­lic ser­vices.

“We will now con­sider fur­ther en­force­ment ac­tion against the shop keep­ers who have been sell­ing these items.” The raids were car­ried out across the city in Broughton, Swinton, Ir­lam and Lit­tle Hulton.

Some of the il­le­gal pack­ets of cig­a­rettes seized in the raids

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