Nine people have been arrested and two illegal tobacco processing plants discovered after an investigation into suspected tobacco duty evasion of £11 million and associated money laundering offences.
Rochdale Council officers and Trading Standards officials raided seven shops in a surprise week of action.
On Tuesday 3rd June two trading standing officers seized 52 pouches of hand rolling tobacco (2.6kg) and 140 packs of cigarettes from a newsagent in Tredworth, Gloucester.
Two people have been arrested after counterfeit cigarettes and cash were seized during a raid on a house.
Smuggled cigarettes worth up to £26,000 have been found at a Salford shop during a major crackdown on illegal tobacco sales.
A haul of dodgy tobacco and illegal snuff was seized by officers during raids on Tyneside.
A shopkeeper who sold illegal tobacco from his Belper store has been given a 12-month community order and ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work by Derby Magistrates.
A sniffer dog ferreted out a stash of contraband cigarettes stored in an underground ‘James Bond’ style lair.
Tobacco companies have a “documented record in fuelling the illicit trade which makes it easier for children to smoke,” says Director of Fresh, Ailsa Rutter. In the North East work by Fresh, HMRC and trading standards has helped reduce supply and demand.
British tobacco companies are colluding with smugglers to avoid tax by flooding European countries, MPs have warned.