Raid in Nelson nets £10,000 illegal tobacco

Friday, July 13, 2018

Lancashire County Council's Trading Standards team and Lancashire Police raided a shop in central Nelson yesterday (Thursday 12 July) seizing illegal tobacco valued at more than £10,000.

A total of 2,231 packs were found, including counterfeits copies of 19 brands such as Richmond, Marlboro and Golden Virginia, as well as packs containing foreign health warnings which can't be sold in the UK, and on which no import duty has been paid.

The tobacco was found behind the shop counter and on a staircase. No arrests were made but investigations into two men are ongoing.

The operation was the 12th involving the seizure of illegal tobacco in the Pendle area within the last year. Five prosecutions have followed resulting in one offender receiving an 18 month jail sentence, and £1000's in fines and costs, and community penalties, for others.

County Councillor Albert Atkinson, deputy leader of Lancashire County Council, said: "Illicit tobacco helps to support serious organised crime and we will continue to work closely with the police to tackle this problem.

"Surveys show a higher percentage of child smokers buy illicit tobacco than adult smokers. The availability of cheap illegal tobacco and colourful child-appealing packaging on these products both contribute to keeping smoking rates high in East Lancashire.

"I hope this operation sends out a message to those dealing in illegal tobacco that our communities do not support their activities, and our Trading Standards team will continue to work closely with the police to stop them and bring them to justice."

You can report sellers of illegal tobacco to Trading Standards by calling the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506.

Tagged as: Consumer Advice

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