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17 December 2015

Illegal tobacco haul seized in joint operation

Illegal tobacco

Counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco with an estimated street value of £50,000 has been seized from a van travelling on the M6 near Carlisle.

Cumbria County Council Trading Standards and Cumbria Police carried out the seizure in a joint operation on 3 December.

Officers recovered 30,000 counterfeit cigarettes and 500 pouches of loose, hand-rolling tobacco weighing over 25kg in the operation.

One male was arrested by the police and has been bailed until January 2016.

Councillor John McCreesh, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Trading Standards, said: “This is a fantastic result and demonstrates that agencies are committed to tackling the supply of illegal tobacco. I would urge anyone engaging in this type of illegal activity to take note and understand that enforcement action will be taken against those involved in such trade.”

Councillor Ian Stewart, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Public Health, said: “Illegal cigarettes can be sold at up to half the price of legal cigarettes, making it easier for children to start smoking, and harder for smokers to quit. I would encourage anyone with information about this illicit trade to contact Crimestoppers, so action can be taken against these illegal dealers.”

A Cumbria Police spokesperson said: “This seizure demonstrates how we work with partners, which we do regularly to make sure Cumbria stays one of the safest places in the country to live and work. It also shows that we will not tolerate people using our roads to carry illegal goods. We will continue to work hard to catch those who think it’s acceptable and to bring them to justice.”

If you suspect anyone selling illicit tobacco in your community, you can report them in confidence to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.
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Counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco with an estimated street value of �50,000 has been seized from a van travelling on the M6 near Carlisle