Illicit cigarettes and counterfeit handrolled tobacco was found during a raid on a Preston shop.Advertisement
Lancashire Police’s sniffer dog unit joined Lancashire County Council’s Trading Standards officers in the investigation.
During Wednesday 24 April the cigarettes and tobacco were found hidden in a flat above a shop in the city.
All the non-duty paid tobacco and cigarettes were in banned colourful child-appealing packaging and a lot had foreign health warnings.
The shops – which are not named for operational reasons – were found to have sold illicit tobacco during test purchase visits.
A spokesman for the county council confirmed the shop in Preston was ‘in the East of the city’.
Trading Standards say combined with a haul from Burnley on the same day the tobacco could be worth £12,000 if genuine.
Heading of Trading Standards for Lancashire Paul Noone said: “The number of cases we are dealing with demonstrates the value of the illegal trade in tobacco, with some unscrupulous retailers clearly being reluctant to comply with the law on tobacco sales. Cheap illicit tobacco is readily available to young people and encourages them to smoke.
“The sale and manufacture of illegal tobacco has a serious impact on legitimate businesses, and our communities, and is something we’re determined to tackle.”
Read more: Illegal cigarettes seized during city shop raid
Anyone with information on the sale of illicit tobacco sales and intelligence should report it to the Citizens Advice Consumer helpline 03454 040506.
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