Illicit cigarettes had street value of over £25,000 - The Evesham Observer

Illicit cigarettes had street value of over £25,000

Evesham Editorial 16th Dec, 2021   0

ILLEGAL cigarettes with a value of more than £25,000 were seized in a raid on a series of shops in Evesham by Trading Standards.

The crackdown came on the cigarettes which are suspected to be counterfeits of popular brands but could contain harmful substances and may not self-extinguish.

The sale of such items also undermines public health messages about the harms of smoking.

More than an estimated £25K of illicit tobacco products were seized from various shops in an operation led by Worcestershire Trading Standards assisted by officers from West Mercia Police, Evesham Safer Neighbourhood Team.

The illicit haul was sniffed out by specially trained tobacco detection dog, Scamp, from BWYK9 as part of Operation CeCe. Trading Standards officers targeted premises identified after extensive intelligence gathering.

Some of the illicit tobacco was concealed in a vehicle, a sophisticated concealment and in a safe and would not have been found without the assistance of the dog.

Insp Alex Warner said: “This is a great example of working closely with our partners to disrupt organised crime in our community. Organised crime is at the heart of the trade in illicit tobacco and it impacts on local people not just economically, but also puts many people at the risk of harm and exploitation.”

Dr Kathryn Cobain, director of Public Health for Worcestershire County Council 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, undermining the impact of the government’s taxation pressures aimed at persuading people to quit.

“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.

The businesses and individuals involved are subject to an on-going criminal investigation.

Visit or call 0808 223 1133 for more.


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