'Largest seizure to date' as over 17,500 packs of illegal cigarettes worth £250k seized in Luton sting
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In the “largest seizure to date”, more than 17,500 illicit and non-duty cigarettes have been seized in Luton, with an estimated street value of £250,000.
Last week (November 9), Luton Trading Standards officers, along with Bedfordshire Police, carried out two warrants on domestic premises. On entry to one of the properties, 17,514 packs of illicit and non-duty paid cigarettes were found, with an estimated street value of £250,000. Authorities also took away a cash counting machine.
Cllr Khtija Malik, portfolio holder responsible for public health at Luton council, said: “It is essential that together, we disrupt these organised criminals that are basing themselves in Luton, and send out a strong message that this is not a place for organised crime.
“The sale of illicit tobacco evades tax and the products are far more dangerous than regulated tobacco.”
She added: “Landlords of both domestic and commercial property must ensure that they protect themselves against the risk of becoming complicit in criminal activity, where they benefit from the proceeds of crime through rent and lease monies”.