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Up in smoke! Seized fake tobacco and cigarettes worth more than £155,000 incinerated

1:32 pm, Thursday, 21st December 2023 - 7 months ago


Fake tobacco and cigarettes worth more than £155,000 have been incinerated at the borough’s Energy from Waste Plant today.

The majority of the goods were seized in 2023 from a variety of businesses in Grimsby and Cleethorpes, with a number of individuals having received sanctions before the magistrates, ranging from formal cautions to fines. The haul has been held securely while investigations were finalised.

These are the products from six seizures this year, carried out by the council’s Trading Standards team as part of the national Operation CeCe which is a joint HMRC and National Trading Standards aimed at tackling illicit tobacco.

The haul had a total of approximately 288kg to burn, made up of 168,760 cigarettes (8,438 packs), 1,550 pouches tobacco (77.5kg), worth in excess of a legitimate value of £155,000 combined and street value of £59,240.

This disposal comes only three months after a further 680kg of illegal tobacco products were incinerated at the plant.

Councillor Ron Shepherd, portfolio holder for safer and stronger communities, said: “Selling illicit and counterfeit goods can damage local businesses and undermine the local economy. Providing cigarettes at pocket money prices encourages people to continue to smoke and makes it easier for young people to access them.

“These types of products do not meet safety standards and are putting lives at risk because they do not self-extinguish if left unattended, therefore, increasing the risk of house fires. Not only has no duty been paid on them, but they’ve not been tested to ensure they’re safe. It must also be reiterated, however, that any cigarettes or tobacco, legitimate or not, are seriously harmful to your health.”

You can make a difference by reporting any suspicions you may have to Trading Standards on [email protected] or call (01472) 326299, option 3.

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