Counterfeit and untaxed tobacco products worth an estimated £20,000 have been seized from six shops in Notts.
A Worksop business was among 10 shops targeted by Notts County Council’s trading standards team and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) based on information about the alleged sale of illegal tobacco products at these premises.
In Worksop, the team seized 6,440 cigarettes.
The other goods found during the raids were - 4,840 cigarettes and 1.3kg of tobacco from an Eastwood shop, 27,480 cigarettes and 18.05kg tobacco from three Ashfield shops and 200 cigarettes, nine bottles of non-duty liquor and three bottles of homebrew liquor from a Mansfield shop.
An examination by brand holders has confirmed that some of the products seized are counterfeit copies of genuine brands. Further investigations into the goods seized will follow.
Sniffer dogs from Wagtail International Specialist Dog Services were used.
Sarah Houlton, trading standards manager at Notts County Council, said: “Unfortunately, unscrupulous shopkeepers are sometimes tempted to sell illegal tobacco products as a sideline business with little regard for the impact on their customers’ health, legitimate traders and reduced tax revenue for vital public services.”
“These products often contain higher rates of toxic substances and do not have the correct health warnings.”
“We want to send out the message to other traders that we will not tolerate the sale of counterfeit goods in the county.”
Jennie Kendall, spokesman for HMRC, said: “Low cost tobacco and alcohol products can often seem very attractive to local people, lured into purchasing them at what seem like bargain prices. The truth is these goods have been smuggled and these sales are unlicensed and unregulated. Those involved are not concerned if they are selling to children and underage young people and the illicit trade has a devastating impact on legitimate retailers and the local community.”
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