Steve Beasant

Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Great Grimsby and Councillor for the East Marsh Learn more

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Detection dogs help sniff out £23,000 of illicit tobacco

by Steve Beasant on 19 December, 2014

North East Lincolnshire Council’s Trading Standards team has confiscated about £23,000 worth of illicit tobacco in an operation in the borough on Tuesday, 16 December – the largest haul so far this year.

As the result of a partnership between North East Lincolnshire Council, North East Lincolnshire Health and Well Being Board, and the North East Lincolnshire Tobacco Alliance, tobacco detection dogs have discovered 37,200 cigarettes and 18.3kg of tobacco that would cost £23,000 to buy legitimately.

The illicit products have a street value of about £8,255 and were seized during inspection visits in the borough, conducted by North East Lincolnshire Council’s Trading Standards team with support from Humberside Police, during Operation Nightshade II.

Operation Nightshade is an on-going initiative in North East Lincolnshire that aims to crack down on the supply of illicit tobacco.

Tobacco detection dogs Phoebe and Scamp, two enthusiastic Springer Spaniels, provided by BWY Canine, helped detect the concealed stashes of tobacco at the premises that were visited.

The premises included three shops in Freeman Street and a private house.

The seizure included some products which are suspected of being counterfeit, and other non-duty paid products which cannot be legally sold in the UK.

Neil Clark, community protection manager responsible for Trading Standards at NELC, said: “We appeal to anyone to get in touch if you have information about any people or businesses selling counterfeit or illicit tobacco products in your community.”

Report it to North East Lincolnshire Council Trading Standards on 01472 326299 (option 3).

Alternatively, ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or complete the online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

These raids are the latest in a number of high profile seizures of illicit tobacco products in the borough.

More than £27,000 worth of illicit tobacco products were confiscated during similar operations in the borough during the past couple of months.

Inspection visits in October led to the seizure of 21,071 cigarettes and 17kg of tobacco. These would cost £16,500 to buy legitimately and had a street value of about £6,000.

Officers confiscated 5,500 illicit cigarettes and 3.5kg of illicit tobacco during an operation in mid-September and a further 7,500 illicit cigarettes and 21.05 kg of hand rolling tobacco were confiscated during a police operation in Freeman Street on 26 September.

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