More than 1 million illegal cigarettes, with a street value of £250,000, have been seized by law enforcement in the U.K. in a raid in Lincoln. Found in a storage facility alongside the haul was a kilogram of cannabis. Trained dogs from Wagtail UK assisted in the raid.
Based on intelligence gathered over the last few months, the teams focused on and monitored 15 storage units in the city.
Principal Trading Standards officer Andy Wright said, “This is the biggest seizure of counterfeit or illicit cigarettes ever made in Lincolnshire. The quantities are huge. We will continue to commit what resources we can to combat this illegal trade of counterfeit, unsafe products. People in Lincolnshire have died as a consequence of house fires caused by these types of cigarettes, and shops selling them create an unfair advantage over legitimate, law-abiding businesses.”
Sergeant Kim Enderby, Alcohol Licensing Manager for Lincolnshire Police, added: “The seizure of this quantity of cigarettes is sure to have a real effect on the criminals involved in the distribution and sale of these items. We also seized nearly a kilo of cannabis, which clearly demonstrates that the individuals involved in the trade of illegal cigarettes are also involved in other criminal activity.”
In neighboring Peterborough, a recent joint operation by Peterborough Trading Standards, Cambridgeshire police and immigration officials also saw 17,440 cigarettes and a large quantity of illicit tobacco seized.
For more on the Lincolnshire raid, read here.
Written by STOP: ILLEGAL