Over a million illegal cigarettes seized in Warwickshire over the last 18 months - The Rugby Observer

Over a million illegal cigarettes seized in Warwickshire over the last 18 months

Rugby Editorial 20th Apr, 2023   0

‘SHOCKED’ Trading Standards Officers have seized over a million illegal cigarettes in Warwickshire over the last 18 months – depriving organised crime groups of £440,000 in the process.

Over 50,000 packets of counterfeit or non-duty paid cigarettes, nearly 300kg of illegal hand rolling tobacco, and 10,100 illegal vapes were seized following raids on shops across the county.

Officers have also been working with the landlords of problem shops to get the sellers evicted.

Jonathon Toy, Service Manager for Warwickshire Trading Standards and Community Safety, said: “While I am shocked by the sheer number of illegal cigarettes this service has seized in such a short period, I’m delighted that we are protecting the health of Warwickshire residents while we continue to disrupt the sale of these products and deprive their sellers, and the organised crime groups they work for, of significant sums of money.




“The availability of illegal cigarettes, often sold at pocket-money prices, makes it easier for children to start smoking and get hooked – and more difficult for existing smokers to quit their habit.

“We also know that sellers have strong links with criminal gangs and the money they make may end up supporting drug dealing, money laundering and people trafficking.


“We are also concerned by the availability of illegal vapes, and I’m pleased we are continuing to disrupt their sale in Warwickshire.”

All illegal products seized are destroyed once legal proceedings are concluded.

Report the sale of illegal cigarettes, tobacco and nicotine vapes to Warwickshire Trading Standards via the Central England Trading Standards Authorities’ confidential fakes hotline on 0300 303 2636.

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