Illegal cigarettes worth £21,000 seized after Erdington and Handsworth raids

Some of the cigarettes seized

Some of the cigarettes seized

Trading Standards officials have seized 85,000 illegal cigarettes in a series of raids across the city.

Test purchases had helped identify shops in Handsworth and Erdington where the items were being sold.

Raids took place on 25th and 26th of September and saw 4,259 packets of cigarettes – worth more than £21,000 – seized after being found concealed in vehicles and above shelves.

A further 268 packs of hand–rolling tobacco worth around £1,750 were also seized during the operation.

Councillor Barbara Dring, chair of the city council’s licensing and public protection committee, said: “The raids carried out by our Trading Standards Officers have successfully taken illegal cigarettes worth more than £21,000 out of circulation.

“Those involved in dealing in illegal tobacco may be encouraging people, including children, to smoke by providing a cheap source.

“This activity also brings crime into our neighbourhoods, which is why it is important to clamp down on it. This also has an impact on those businesses that are trading legally.

“The detection dogs 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 these illegal products.”

The illegal products included suspected counterfeit and cheap foreign-labelled products that breach consumer protection legislation and have not had duty paid on them.


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