A van full of illegal alcohol and cigarettes seized during raids in Lincolnshire will be turned into electricity to power homes in the county.
The illegal cigarettes and tobacco were confiscated during the last 12 months in joint operations between Lincolnshire Trading Standards and Lincolnshire Police.
The goods have been taken to a specialist recycling centre and will be broken down, mixed with food and turned into gas that will be burned to create electricity.
Emma Milligan, principal trading standards officer at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Tackling the sale of counterfeit and illegal cigarettes and alcohol is a priority for us.
“The cigarettes often contain things real cigarette manufacturers wouldn’t normally use, meaning that a carton of cheap cigarettes isn’t a good deal at all, but can actually pose a serious health risk.
“Some cigarettes do not self-extinguish and are therefore extremely dangerous. Illegal brands, such as Pect, Black Mount and Jin Lings, don’t comply with the UK safety standard of RIP (Reduced Ignition Propensity), meaning they don’t go out when not actively being smoked.
“Many bottles of alcohol including red and white wine and bottles of beer, were seized for non-payment of duty, while others were seized as they were counterfeit or fake and potentially very dangerous, containing industrial alcohol which is unfit for human consumption.”
Sgt Kimble Enderby who is the Police Licencing Sergeant, added: “Much of the alcohol we have seized is dangerous and not fit for human consumption. No-one can be sure what chemicals go into it, so it is very satisfying to get it off the streets.
“The work we are doing here is part of a bigger picture, because we know those involved in smuggling items or manufacturing counterfeit goods are often involved in other areas of organised crime.”
If you do suspect anyone of selling cheap, illegal cigarettes or alcohol, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 to avoid tragic cases in the future.