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Illicit tobacco seized from local shops

Press Release   •   Jul 26, 2013 14:00 BST

Specially trained dogs helped police and council officers to sniff out illicit tobacco in local off-licences.

Trading standards carried out the raids on Tuesday (23 July) following a tip-off, andseized 5kg of tobacco and5,500 cigarettes.

They visited three shops in Prestwich and three in Radcliffe, and took away goods from five shops in total.

The haul comprises both counterfeit tobacco and tobacco on which UK duty has not been paid.

At one store, trading standards also seized counterfeit toys and personal goods which were breaching the Trade Marks Act.

Lorraine Chamberlin, head of environmental protection at Bury Council, said: “This is the first time we have used the detection dogs, and they can find tobacco and cigarettes even if hidden in the most unlikely places. Offenders need to know that they will face consequences if they choose to deal in illicit products.”

Councillor Tony Isherwood, cabinet member for environment, said: “Cigarettes are dangerous enough without having even more pollutants added. Many counterfeit cigarettes are polluted with dangerous material: faecal material, including camel dung, is particularly common. We want to highlight the dangers associated with this.”

Trading Standards and Police Officers will continue to work together to ensure a fair trading environment for all local businesses and to ensure that customers are buying genuine products.


Sergeant Michael Stocks from the Bury Division of Greater Manchester Police said: "This operation demonstrates that we take the sale of illicit goods very seriously and will continue to work with our partners to clampdown on this type of crime. 

"Selling counterfeit goods is not a victimless crime and, as well as funding other crime, such offences threaten the livelihood of law-abiding citizens." 

Anyone who has information about fraudulent goods is asked to contact Trading Standards on 0845 040 506 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 1111.

ENDS

Press release issued: 26 July 2013.

Picture attached: Some of the illicit tobacco seized.