£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
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