Raids uncover £10,000 of illicit cigarettes and tobacco in Wisbech
Illicit cigarettes and tobacco worth over £10,000 has been seized following a multi-agency operation 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.
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.
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.
With the help of sniffer dogs, they discovered the cigarettes and tobacco hidden away inside walls and draws, and a behind a safe.
Councillor Sam Clark, Fenland 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.”
More by this authorSarah Cliss