Illegal tobacco products with a street value of £55,000 have been seized at a shop in Leyland.
Police said a “well-organised” store in Leyland had a purpose-built store-room, coded lists and a chute for illegal goods, which included cigarettes, hand-rolling tobacco and vapes. The same shop was visited in November last year and 1,800 items were seized, including £5,000 in cash.
Trading Standards will now investigate further, Lancashire Police said. The force added that officers from South Ribble’s Neighbourhood Policing Team worked with Trading Standards on the search, which found 1,611 packs of illicit tobacco products.
Trading Standards Officer Dawn Robinson said the team would “not tolerate the exploitation of Lancashire’s young people by unscrupulous businesses and will continue to take robust action against them”.
“By seizing 1,611 illegal packs of cigarettes, hand-rolling tobacco and vapes from a well-organised Leyland business… we made our local community safer for children, as the sale of these items encourages addiction,” she said.
The goods were seized as part of Operation Centurion, a crackdown on anti-social behaviour.
Sgt Angela Atkinson, from South Ribble’s neighbourhood policing team, said, “We are committed to making communities feel safer and better places to live and work and we will always work closely with the community to ensure we achieve this and to tackle this activity which can often lead to anti-social behaviour in neighbouring areas.
“This was a great seizure and sends out a strong message that we are cracking down and tackling the sale of illegal and counterfeit items. Operations like this will continue.”