Massive hauls of illegal cigarettes seized under multiple operations in Worcestershire and West Sussex

Massive hauls of illegal cigarettes
Representative iStock image

Massive hauls of illegal cigarettes have been seized in multiple operations from a shop in Evesham and Worthing, stated recent reports.

According to Worcestershire County Council, officers in Evesham managed to seize six bags filled with illegal cigarettes during an operation on Wednesday (8).

Worcestershire County Council has recently refreshed its Illicit Tobacco Partnership, which aims to continue to drive down the illicit tobacco market by addressing its availability, reducing its social acceptability and bringing about social change.

“Tackling illicit tobacco is important for so many reasons. We know that price is the most important lever in encouraging smokers to quit and, given that illicit tobacco is available much cheaper than legally bought tobacco, it encourages smokers to smoke more,” local reports quoted a spokesperson of the council as saying.

“We also know that illicit tobacco sellers will sell to anyone regardless of their age and as a result children can become hooked early in life.”

Meanwhile, under a  similar operation by Sussex police and West Sussex Trading Standards, a total of 205 packets of illegal cigarettes and 63 packets of tobacco were found in a shop in Worthing. The raid, involving tobacco detection dog Yoyo, happened following tip-offs claiming some shops in the area were selling illicit tobacco

Peter Aston, West Sussex Trading Standards team manager, said: “Sales of illicit cigarettes and tobacco products damage local communities and people’s health but also harms legitimate businesses – it’s certainly not a victimless crime.

“We always act on reports of illegal tobacco and urge anyone who has information to call Citizens Advice on 0808 223 1133, or report the details on our website.”