Illegal cigarettes and tobacco have been seized following visits to six shops in Radcliffe, Whitefield and Bury.
Tip-offs by members of the public led to the raids, carried out by Bury Council’s trading standards team in partnership with Trading Standards North West’s dedicated Illicit Tobacco team and Greater Manchester Police.
The seized items, including Mayfair and Golden Virginia brands, included products which were either counterfeit or smuggled into the UK and were non-duty paid which means they cannot legally be sold.
Angela Lomax, unit manager with Bury’s trading standards, said: “We are determined to identify and bring to justice those who are involved in this trade. Offenders need to know that they will face consequences if they choose to deal in illegal tobacco.”
Andrea Crossfield, director of Tobacco Free Futures, said: “We, along with partners such as Bury Council, have been working successfully to cut the supply of and demand for cheap illegal tobacco.
”Its low price and easy availability encourages people to keep smoking, and children and young people are often targeted by unscrupulous traders. This enforcement action is therefore welcomed.”
Anyone with information regarding the sale of illegal tobacco is urged to pass on information confidentially to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 04 05 05, or the Trading Standards North West Illicit Tobacco Team on 01925 442 466.
Press release issued: 6 May 2014.