Police and trading standards officers seized illicit tobacco in raids on premises across the borough yesterday (11 Feb).
Acting on tip-offs, they visited nine premises and used sniffer dogs from tobacco detection company Wagtails UK to help them.
In total they seized 2kg of hand-rolling tobacco and 4,500 cigarettes, which were either counterfeit, non-duty paid or labelled incorrectly.
The raids were carried out at a number of shops in Prestwich and Bury.
Angela Lomax, head of trading standards and licensing at Bury Council, said: “Cigarette smugglers cheat the country of revenue vital to funding essential public services like hospitals and schools. Smuggling also has a devastating impact on honest retailers forced to compete with the shadow economy in these hard times. The sellers don’t care about the damage they cause by undercutting your local retailers and tobacconists or what effect what they are selling may have on your health - all they care about is profit.”
Councillor Alan Quinn, cabinet member for the environment, added: “Don't be fooled by cheap cigarettes; they're cheap for a reason and often that is because they are illicit and involve organised crime.”
Press release issued: 12 February 2020.
Picture: Sniffer dogs Billy and Ted help track down the illicit tobacco.