Seized: 22,000 illicit cigarettes and 60 litres of alcohol from store in Flint
A joint operation between Flintshire Trading Standards, North Wales Police and HM Revenue and Customs has resulted in a seizure of illicit tobacco and alcohol.
Approximately 22,000 cigarettes plus hand rolling tobacco and 60 litres of alcohol were seized from a store in Flint.
Investigations into the source of the cigarettes and alcohol are ongoing.
The operation was supported by specialist tobacco sniffer dogs which located some of the tobacco that had been hidden away in a locked garage behind the store.
Councillor Kevin Jones, Cabinet member for Waste Strategy, Public Protection and Leisure, Flintshire County Council said:
“This is an excellent example of partnership working between enforcement agencies. The sale of cheap illicit tobacco makes it easier for new smokers to get addicted and makes it harder for smokers who want to give up break the habit. Far from being a victimless crime the trade in illicit tobacco has serious consequences for crime and health in the community and causes economic detriment to legitimate local businesses.”
HMRC spokesperson Bob Gaiger said:
“HMRC works with other law enforcement agencies to target anyone we suspect is selling or smuggling illicit tobacco. We relentlessly pursue any individuals or crime gangs believed to be involved in this type of criminal activity. It is not a victimless crime and undermines the efforts of legitimate traders.
“We urge people to come forward and let us know if they have information about the smuggling, sale, transport, or storage of illicit tobacco by calling the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000. You can also report suspicious trading, tax evasion or smuggling via our website to help us tackle organised crime.”
Anyone wanting to report sales of illicit tobacco can do so to trading standards on 08454 040506. Illicit tobacco products are cigarettes or hand rolling tobacco that have been smuggled, bootlegged or are counterfeit and are not subject to any controls over their composition. Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com