210,760 illegal cigarettes seized in Kings Lynn
- Credit: Norfolk County Council
More than 210,000 illegal cigarettes and a quantity of illegal hand rolling tobacco was seized in King's Lynn last night by police and trading standards officers.
The illegal products, and around £1,000 cash were found in two businesses and one vehicle. Officials said the approximate amount of all goods seized was £74,000.
Inspections were carried out at four shops, two residential properties and a number of vehicles by Norfolk County Council trading standards, police and West Norfolk council officers. They were assisted by tobacco detection dogs of Wagtail UK Limited.
Margaret Dewsbury, chair of the county council's communities committee, said: 'This is a big win for the Norfolk County Council trading standards team. The problem of illegal tobacco goes beyond the impact to the local economy through lost duty. Many of these retailers are selling to young people at low prices and putting their own profits first. Some of these retailers are involved in organised criminal gangs and are connected to other crime such as modern day slavery and human trafficking. I hope these raids will reinforce the message that we do not tolerate the sales of illegal tobacco in our county.'
Local policing commander, Temp Chief Insp Amie Abbs, said:
'This result highlights our commitment to work with partners to target criminal activity, including those involved in organised crime.'
Norfolk County Council's trading standards is continuing the campaign launched two years ago which has seen 1.3m illegal cigarettes and 168kg of illegal hand rolling tobacco seized and 11 traders successfully prosecuted.
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The operation was carried out as a result of intelligence received from members of the public, businesses and police. If you have any other information or intelligence you can call the Citizens Advice Consumer helpline (anonymously if you wish) on 03454 04 05 06 or www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer or by calling 101 (use 999 in an emergency).