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.
Figures released by anti-smoking organisation Fresh suggest the illicit tobacco market in the North East had halved since the late 1990s.
Anti-smoking organisations today said the blackmarket trade in Newcastle had shrunk with less than one in 10 cigarettes bought on Tyneside found to be counterfeit.
A Conservative MP who is leading a rebellion against plans to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes is a former tobacco lobbyist and chairs a parliamentary group whose secretariat is provided by two tobacco industry-funded organisations.
The chairman of an influential House of Commons select committee investigating the tobacco trade hosted a parliamentary reception funded by a cigarette giant, the Observer has established.
Anti-smoking lobbyists have welcomed much-delayed government plans to introduce plain cigarette packaging.