30,000 illegal cigarettes and 4kg of tobacco worth over £10,000 was seized during Wisbech raids
PUBLISHED: 17:17 06 February 2020 | UPDATED: 10:45 07 February 2020
Thirty thousand illegal cigarettes and four kilograms of hand rolling tobacco worth over £10,000 was seized during raids in Wisbech.
Enforcement officers carried out a number of raids on premises suspected of selling illegal tobacco and cigarettes following test purchases and intelligence received.
In total, they seized over 30,000 cigarettes and over 4kg of hand rolling tobacco from four premises.
The haul was a mixture of counterfeit and illegally imported goods, with a street value of more than £10,000. Investigations are ongoing following the seizures.
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With the help of sniffer dogs, they discovered the cigarettes and tobacco hidden away inside walls and draws, and a behind a safe.
The operation was led by HMRC with Cambridgeshire County Council's Trading Standards, police, fire, officers from Fenland District Council (licensing, environmental health, housing and street scene) and sniffer dogs from Wagtail International.
Cllr Sam Clark, Fenland District Council's portfolio holder for licensing enforcement, said: "Trade in illicit tobacco has serious consequences on the community. It causes poor health and brings criminal activity to the area.
"It's also damaging to legitimate, local businesses who are being undercut by criminals and encourages young people to start smoking from an early age."
"It is great that so many partners are working together to tackle traders that break the law.
"We will continue to act on intelligence received and target premises suspected of being involved to disrupt this type of activity and prevent harm to the public."