Thousands of cigarettes were seized in Spalding yesterday after Lincolnshire Trading Standards led a multi-agency investigation and raided a number of shops.
Trading Standards and Lincolnshire Police’s Alcohol Licensing Team worked together to execute three warrants at shops in the town. The Free Press knows one of them to be Winsover Off-Licence and Mini-Market, but the identities of the other shops have not yet been revealed.
They recovered over 17,000 counterfeit and illicit cigarettes. These seized goods have been sent to the analyst for further investigation.
Beck and Bertie, the tobacco detection dogs from Wagtail UK, also assisted in the investigation.
Tara Carter, senior trading standards officer at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Following a number of test purchases and intel from the public about the shops storing and selling counterfeit cigarettes, we acted quickly with our enforcement colleagues from Lincolnshire Police and managed to seize a large quantity of non-duty paid and incorrectly labelled cigarettes.”
Sgt Kimble Enderby of Lincolnshire Police’s Licensing Department, added: “The sale of non-duty paid or smuggled goods is organised crime and store operators who are prepared to sell these goods serve to promote this criminality.
“Working together, we can make sure that retailers don’t get away with selling these illegal and potentially dangerous items.
“If you’re suspicious, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
Investigations are ongoing.