Illegal tobacco seized in raids - The Evesham Observer

Illegal tobacco seized in raids

Evesham Editorial 25th Mar, 2018   0

CIGARETTES and tobacco with a street value of more than £20,000 were seized during a series of raids by the county’s Trading Standards officers including one on a retail premises in Evesham.

More than 50,000 illegal cigarettes and almost 300 packets of hand-rolling tobacco were picked up during the raids by officers, accompanied by specialist detection dogs from Wagtail UK.

Tests of the counterfeit cigarettes in seizures by other local authorities have shown that some do not meet safety standards for self-extinguishing and have the potential to cause fires. The availability of illegal cigarettes also poses risk to public health.

No arrests were made but the businesses and individuals involved are subject to an on-going criminal investigation.

Coun Lucy Hodgson, cabinet Member for communities, said: “The availability of cheap illicit cigarettes and tobacco in our communities makes it harder for smokers to quit and stay smoke free.

“These products are significantly cheaper than the legitimate product, removing the impact of the government’s taxation pressures aimed at persuading people to quit. It also reduces the takings of local honest businesses and cuts the income to the Treasury which funds our public services.

“The availability of cheap products also makes it much easier for young people to get hold of tobacco, creating a risk to their long term health.”

“Our Trading Standards team will continue to work hard to remove illegal products and where necessary we will prosecute businesses and individuals that ignore the law,” she added.

Anyone concerned a retailer is selling illicit or counterfeit tobacco can report it online at or telephone Consumer Direct on 03454-040506.


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