Tobacco worth £15,000 seized in raid against counterfeit suppliers

1 February 2013

Tobacco with a street value of £15,000 has been seized from a Chesterfield shop in the latest raid to tackle a rising number of illegal cigarette sales.

A joint operation between our trading standards officers and the police led to the seizure of 31,000 cigarettes and 8kg of rolling tobacco which are believed to be counterfeit.

One person was arrested for questioning and was bailed pending further enquiries.
Complaints to trading standards about the sale of illegal tobacco doubled from 30 in 2011 to 60 in 2012.

Councillor Kevin Parkinson, our Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said:

"We have a duty to enforce licensing laws and protect public safety.

"Over the last year we've seen a huge rise in the number of reports about counterfeit tobacco and we take every one very seriously.
"Cheap counterfeit and illicit tobacco not only represents unfair competition for legitimate local traders, but can also present serious health risks such as cancer and heart disease.

"The message is simple, it really isn't worth taking the risk selling counterfeit or non duty paid tobacco."

Action taken by our trading standards team saw a 22 per cent rise in the number of seizures of counterfeit tobacco in 2012. And our trading standards team is currently conducting seven on-going investigations into the sale and possession of illegal tobacco.

Anyone with information about the sale of illegal tobacco should call Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08456 040506 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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