Thousands of illegal cigarettes seized from Norwich shop
- Credit: Norfolk Trading Standards.
Thousands of cigarettes have been seized from a Norwich shop after a parent claimed their child had purchased illegal cigarettes from the store.
Norfolk Trading Standards carried out the raid at the shop on Tuesday and discovered 2,700 cigarettes and 1.25kg of hand rolling tobacco concealed under the counter. A further 7,960 cigarettes and 750g of hand rolling tobacco were seized from a vehicle believed to be used as a storage unit at the store.
The majority of the products did not contain the correct English warning information and some are suspected to be counterfeit.
Officers from Norfolk Constabulary Licensing, Drug and Alcohol Team and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) assisted with the raid following a tip off from a parent after their 16-year-old child had purchased cigarettes from the neighbourhood store.
An investigation is now under way with regards to the seized products.
Brian Chatten, community safety and fair trading manager at Norfolk County Council, said: 'Trading Standards inspected the store, and were able to make a test purchase of illegal cigarettes at less than half the price of legitimate ones.
'Following this, Trading Standards, accompanied by the Norfolk Constabulary Licensing, Drug and Alcohol Team and HMRC, carried out a raid on the premises resulting in the confiscation of over 10,000 cigarettes.
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'We greatly value the information that the public brings to our attention about illegal activities going on in the county – as proven in this most recent case, the public really are our eyes and ears.'
In the past six months, Norfolk Trading Standards working with Norfolk Constabulary have seized nearly 130,000 illegal cigarettes and over 31kg of illegal hand rolling tobacco from retail stores around the county.