ON Tuesday 3rd June two trading standing officers seized 52 pouches of hand rolling tobacco (2.6kg) and 140 packs of cigarettes from a newsagent in Tredworth, Gloucester.
The seizure of the illegal products took place at 11.15am and the shop was open and staffed at the time. The shopkeeper will now be formally interviewed by trading standards officers.
The seized tobacco was kept in concealed storage both inside and outside the shop; it was immediately removed from the premises and will be destroyed.
Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for trading standards, said: “This is another successful investigation into an illegal industry that damages reputable businesses in the county.
“Counterfeit tobacco products can put people’s health at greater risk and this type of activity will not be tolerated in Gloucestershire.”
Eddie Coventry, head of Gloucestershire County Council’s trading standards, said: “We encourage consumers to continue to report shops selling illegal tobacco because their valuable information can significantly help our investigations.
“We will remain vigilant and continue to take action to stop this criminal activity, which takes trade away from legitimate businesses in the county.”
Andrea Dickens, spokeswoman for Smokefree South West, said: “Illegal tobacco is not a victimless crime as criminals would like us to believe.
“Not least, as there have been no taxes or duty paid, cigarettes and pouches of tobacco are offered to children at pocket money prices making it all too cheap and easy for them to smoke and become addicted.”