Great Yarmouth cigarette and tobacco raids saw more seized in one day than entire year prior
- Credit: @NorfolkCCTS on Twitter
More illegal tobacco was seized in one Great Yarmouth haul this week, than had previously been amassed in the county this year to date.
Several thousand cigarettes were seized from three stores in the town following investigations carried out by Norfolk County Council Trading Standards, with tobacco detection dogs playing a key role in the raids.
Initial raids on the shops uncovered 4,700 illegal cigarettes and 4.65kg of illegal tobacco concealed at the stores, including some hidden behind a fuse box wired to the mains electricity.
However, two subsequent warrants then uncovered a further 69,000 cigarettes and 37.5kg of illegal tobacco at a premises associated with one of the stores - the biggest haul of its kind since September 2016.
A Norfolk County Council spokesman said the reason for this was this particular raid had located a storage facility, rather than simply seizing the amount found for sale in the store.
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Brian Chatten of Trading Standards said: 'The inspections carried out show there are retailers in the county who are making smoking more accessible to children by selling illegal tobacco at pocket money prices.
'Hopefully these raids will raise awareness of our campaign to crack down on sellers of illegal tobacco and encourage local residents to come forward with any information they may have.'
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Inspectors were accompanied in the exercise by Great Yarmouth police, along with BWY Canine Limited, with detection dogs Scamp, Yoyo and Ralph on duty.
A spokesman for BWY said the total amount seized on Monday would have equated to more than £83,000 in value.
Sophie Leney, head of Norfolk Trading Standards said: 'During the last service year, we were involved in the seizure of 183,820 illegal cigarettes and 49.1kg of illegal hand rolling tobacco.
'With the financial support of Public Health, we are building on this work to disrupt the supply of illegal tobacco in Norfolk this year. So far, we have seized more than 130,000 illegal cigarettes and nearly 53kg of tobacco.
'We would like to thank the public and businesses who have provided us with information. This intelligence has been invaluable.'
In January, 9,000 cigarettes and one kilo of tobacco was seized in a King's Lynn crack down.