Almost 15,000 cigarettes and over 9kg of hand rolling tobacco were seized in raids on shops carried out by Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service, supported by Warwickshire Police and Border Force.
Tobacco sniffer dogs were used to hunt for counterfeit and non-duty paid cigarettes and tobacco hidden in corner shops, mini supermarkets and parked vehicles in Atherstone, Nuneaton, Rugby, Leamington Spa and Stratford upon Avon. Officers used local intelligence to identify shops where cheap illegal cigarettes were being sold.
Warwickshire County Councillor Andy Crump, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety said:
“The sellers of cheap illegal cigarettes don’t care who they sell to, making it easier for children and young people to obtain cigarettes and get hooked on smoking and making it harder for adults to quit.”
“Cheap illegal tobacco also threatens the livelihoods of honest genuine businesses and robs the taxpayer of money that could be spent on schools and hospitals.”
“I’m delighted that Warwickshire County Council is working closely with its partners and other agencies to tackle this issue in order to keep Warwickshire residents safe and healthy.”
Investigations are now ongoing. The Council used the services of B.W.Y Canine, a leading specialist in detection dogs for UK and International operations.
Warwickshire County Council carries out this important to work to support its public health goals.
- For more information and support to quit smoking in Warwickshire visit: quit4good.co.uk
- Anyone with information about the manufacture or sale of illegal tobacco can phone the confidential fakes hotline on 0300 303 2636.