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Norwich man appears in court after largest haul of illegal tobacco seized by Norfolk Trading Standards

PUBLISHED: 17:04 19 December 2018

Illegal tobacco seized by Norfolk Police and Norfolk County Council. PIC: Submitted by Norfolk County Council.

Illegal tobacco seized by Norfolk Police and Norfolk County Council. PIC: Submitted by Norfolk County Council.

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A man has appeared in court following a raid in which the largest haul of illegal tobacco uncovered by Norfolk Trading Standards was found amounting to an estimated three quarters of a tonne and worth thousands of pounds.

A man has appeared in court following a raid in which the largest haul of illegal tobacco uncovered by Norfolk Trading Standards was found amounting to an estimated three quarters of a tonne and worth thousands of pounds.

Ping He, 48, was arrested after Norfolk Trading Standards officers working with police raided the address at Notykin Street in the Clover Hill area of Norwich, on December 18, after members of the public reported suspicious activity at the property.

He was found on the premises and officers also discovered in the raid a manufacturing set-up with an estimated 750kg of tobacco, counterfeit plastic tobacco pouches and other equipment used in the production of illegal tobacco.

Leona Page, prosecuting on behalf of Norfolk Trading Standards, told Norwich magistrates that the alleged counterfeit tobacco found in the raid was for Golden Virginia and Amber Leaf and said there was a ”high degree of professionalism” involved in the operation.

She said the potential evaded duty was estimated at around £250,000.

She said: “This is the largest haul of illegal tobacco products that trading standards has uncovered.”

She said the raid took place after reports of suspicious activities at a property on Notykin Street, and officers then executed a warrant at the address, and found the manufacturing set-up.

He, of Notykin Street, who had the help of a Mandarin interpreter, appeared at the magistrates court via a link from Wymondham police station although no charges were put and no pleas were taken, the court heard He currently faces six charges.

The matter was sent to Norwich Crown Court for a further hearing on January 17.

He was represented by James Burrows at the hearing, who made no application for bail.

Chairman of the Bench, Eamon Lambert remanded He in custody.

After the raid, Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of the Norfolk County Council’s communities committee said: “This is a great result for the Norfolk County Council Trading Standards team, and will severely disrupt the production of alleged illegal tobacco in Norfolk.

She added that she wanted to thank those that reported their concerns to them and the police.

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