Quantities of illicit tobacco and cigarettes were seized from local retail shops on Monday, June 30, thanks to sniffer dogs trained in tobacco detention. The visits are part of Operation Henry, reducing the supply of illicit tobacco, it is running from April till September.
The partnership exercise involves the council’s Trading Standards services, the Trading Standards Institute and HM Revenue and Customs.
The dogs discovered concealed tobacco stashes at several premises, including a case of tobacco in a hidden compartment in the shopkeeper’s chair and inside a vacuum cleaner.
The seizure included non duty-paid cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco, which cannot be legally sold in the UK.
Councillor Aslam Khan, portfolio holder for Trading Standards, said: “Those involved in dealing in illegal tobacco may be encouraging children and adults to smoke by providing a cheap source. The detection dogs can find tobacco and cigarettes hidden in the most unlikely places. Offenders face consequences such as prosecution and removal of their alcohol licence if they deal in illegal products.”