North East Lincolnshire Council

Trading Standards uncover more than 8,000 illicit cigarettes

A routine inspection carried out by North East Lincolnshire Council’s Trading Standards team has uncovered more than 8,000 illicit cigarettes at a Grimsby shop.

Three large bags of illicit tobacco were seized from the convenience store in the East Marsh on 23 September.

In total, 8,080 cigarettes and 52 pouches of tobacco were seized, a large proportion of which are suspected to be counterfeit.

Two Trading Standards officers attended the premises following concerns from the public.

On entry, an unidentified man ran from the shop following the discovery. Enquiries are ongoing.

This brings the total number of tobacco products seized as a result of the ongoing council Trading Standards “Operation Nightshade” to 736,848 cigarettes (more than 36,800 packets) and 684.9 kilos of tobacco (almost 13,700 pouches). If you lay the cigarettes end to end, it would get you three and a half miles past Doncaster.

Councillor Ron Shepherd, portfolio holder for safer and stronger communities, said: “Our Trading Standards officers will continue to carry out these inspections to uncover this illegal trade in our borough.

“Honest retailers should not be in a position where they’re competing with those selling cheap, untaxed and smuggled tobacco products.

“We will pursue anyone involved in this industry and they risk being sentenced to a term of imprisonment by the court.

“We have a responsibility to tackle these issues and we will continue to do so.”

If you have any information relating to the sale or distribution of illicit cigarettes and tobacco in North East Lincolnshire, contact Trading Standards on (01472) 326299 (option 3).

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