Successful joint operation bags illicit tobacco
A joint operation between Flintshire Trading Standards, North Wales Police and Wagtail UK Ltd looking to stamp out the sale of illicit tobacco took place recently.
In total six shops in Flintshire were inspected for the supply of illicit tobacco. A number of the shops visited had previously been found selling illicit tobacco which had resulted in two prosecutions and one caution, on this occasion five of the six shops visited were found to be supplying illicit tobacco. A total 23,060 cigarettes and 3,150grams of tobacco were seized worth a total value of £188,635.50.
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Public Protection, Councillor Chris Bithell, said:
“This operation was a very good example of partnership working between the County Council’s Trading Standards Service, North Wales Police and detection dogs from Wagtails to help reduce the availability of illicit tobacco in Flintshire. This is not a victimless crime, cheap illicit tobacco is not a deterrent to people to take up smoking, it often makes it easy for young people to take up smoking and avoid paying the taxes that fund our health service.”
Richard Powell Team Leader for Trading Standards Investigations said:
“Illicit tobacco products are cigarettes or hand-rolling tobacco that have been smuggled or are counterfeit and are not subject to any controls over their composition. Trade in illicit tobacco has serious consequences for crime and health in the community and causes economic detriment to legitimate local business.”
The supply of illicit and counterfeit tobacco will continue to be monitored, if you have any information regarding the sale of illicit tobacco, then please contact Flintshire Trading Standards Department on 03454 040506.