OVER £12,000 of illegal cigarettes and tobacco has been found hidden in shops in Rugby and Nuneaton.
Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards seized almost 2,000 packets of cigarettes and 186 packets of hand rolling tobacco, both counterfeit and non-duty paid, with a combined illegal value of £12,765 – and a value if genuine of around £30,000.
Trading Standards Officers supported by Warwickshire Police and specialist sniffer dogs from BWY Canine visited shops in the two towns last week.
Warwickshire County Council’s community safety spokesman Coun Andy Crump said: “I’m delighted that our Trading Standards Officers are working closely with Warwickshire Police to remove illegal cigarettes and tobacco from our streets.
“We know that the sellers of illegal cigarettes sometimes target children and young people, encouraging them to start smoking.
“Organised criminal gangs are behind much of the illegal tobacco trade and the sale of these products funds other criminal activity.”
Call 0300 303 2636 or visit www.centsa.org.uk/anonymous-hotline to report the sale of illegal tobacco to Warwickshire Trading Standards via the Central England Trading Standards Authority.