More than 1,000 packets of illegal cigarettes have been discovered in a series of raids in Northamptonshire.
With the help of trained sniffer dogs, Northamptonshire Trading Standards and Northamptonshire Police uncovered the illicit cigarettes, plus 100 pouches of illegal tobacco, concealed in premises in Northampton and Corby.
The raids took place on Thursday 16th July with the help of sniffer dogs Yo-Yo, Phoebe and Scamp from BWY Canine.
All tobacco sold in the UK must have certain warnings in English and also a picture warning, so anyone buying illicit tobacco will know straight away that it is not legal.
Investigations are now ongoing as a result of the raids.
Cllr André González de Savage, county council cabinet member for strategic infrastructure, economic growth and public protection, said: “Illegal cigarettes not only pose a risk to people’s health but those involved in their sale are often linked to other forms of criminal activity, including drug dealing, money laundering, people trafficking and even terrorism.
“These raids demonstrate how we work closely with the police to take action against anyone suspected of supplying or selling illegal tobacco products. If convicted, those responsible face a costly fine or even imprisonment.
“Anyone being offered cheap tobacco or any other types of illicit goods should report it to Trading Standards by calling the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”