Illicit cigarettes seized

Som of the seized tobacco

Som of the seized tobacco

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TRADING standards officers have seized illicit cigarettes and tobacco in a number of raids in the borough.

A sniffer dog was brought in to help officers who searched properties on Crompton Street and Park Road in Wigan along with Leigh Road, Leigh.

The firefighters at work

The firefighters at work

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service also stepped in to help recover tobacco which had been found discarded on a roof in an attempt to avoid being detected.

The street value of the goods seized is estimated to be in the region of £2,000. The raids, which took place last month, came after complaints from members of the public. Investigations are continuing.

The trade in illicit cigarettes and tobacco impacts on law abiding shops because they cannot compete with illegal sellers.

Councillor Kevin Anderson, cabinet member for environment, said: “We’d like to thank the public who came forward with the vital information which means we have been able to target those suspected of selling cigarettes and tobacco illegally. This kind of trade has a huge impact on those retailers who are selling goods legally who simply cannot compete with illegal traders.”

Some of the stock seized is suspected to be counterfeit and is being examined.

Anyone who wishes to report illegal tobacco or any underage sales to trading standards in confidence can ring 01942 827476 or email ts@wigan.gov.uk. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.