Illegal cigarettes seized

A Trading Standards raid on premises-looking for illegal tobacco and cigarettes
A Trading Standards raid on premises-looking for illegal tobacco and cigarettes

THOUSANDS of pounds worth of illegal cigarettes have been seized following a sniffer dog raid at a town centre shop.

Wigan Council’s Trading Standards team executed a warrant on the premises on Leigh Road in Leigh which saw an illegal stash of 4,000 cigarettes and 1.7kg of tobacco being seized.

A warrant has also been executed at an address at Irvine Street, Leigh in relation to the same raid.

A trained sniffer dog was used to find the tobacco which was hidden in a purpose built concealed cupboard under the counter in the shop. Some of the tobacco is suspected to be counterfeit and is now being examined.

Councillor Kevin Anderson, Portfolio Holder for Environment said: “The trade in illegal tobacco is appalling and threatens livelihoods, putting legitimate retailers out of business, as they cannot possibly compete with the shops who are selling illegal products.”

Julie Middlehurst, Group Manager Regulation said: “We will continue to crack down on illegal sales of tobacco and other counterfeit goods in the area. It is not a victimless crime as illegal sales can be a danger to health and have been found to get into the hands of children. We are grateful for the valuable leads we receive from local residents and urge people to come forward with information on any suspicious activity and together we can stop these illegal sales.”

Anyone who wishes to report illegal tobacco sales to Trading Standards in confidence can ring 01942 827476 or email ts@wigan.gov.uk. They can also ring Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.