Sheffield Trading Standards Team take down tobacco gang

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Sheffield Trading Standards (STS) have busted an illegal tobacco gang by seizing over £275,000 worth of illegal goods.

Working with Greater Manchester and Scottish Trading Standards, they carried out a series of raids on the homes, storage places, shops and vehicles of a gang supplying shops selling illegal and counterfeit tobacco.

This raid follows a period of surveillance by the STS, which was first alerted to suspicious activity by anonymous reports.

Lowering resulted in the seizure of over 2,000 packets of hand-rolling tobacco worth £32,000 and the seizure of over half a million cigarettes worth over £275,000. Cigarettes retail for £11 a pack while a 30g packet of tobacco is worth £16 a pack.

A van driver, who was attempting a quick escape from a Rochdale self-store site, was apprehended by STS. The contents of his van, counterfeit clothes worth £2.4million, were also seized.

In Manchester and Greater Manchester, sniffer dogs found Viagra and other illegal prescription drugs as well as a container of cannabis. Greater Manchester Police are currently investigating the owner of the container.

Credit: Sheffield City Council. Box proof

Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing, Councilor Alison Teal said: ‘This is a great achievement for our Trading Standards team who are working very hard to keep people safe in Sheffield – their work plays such a big part. important in the city and as this partnership work shows, across the country.

“Monitoring and enforcement measures are an essential part of Sheffield’s tobacco control programme. Cheap and illicit tobacco undermines our efforts to help people quit smoking and makes it easier for children to get pocket-money cigarettes, as illegal cigarettes are often sold individually, so ‘they get addicted from an early age.

“We are committed to eliminating cheap and illicit tobacco from our communities, it causes immense harm and, as we have seen in the results of this operation, is often linked to other aspects of crime and activities organized criminals. We work collaboratively with city partners to address broader issues and the impacts of illegal tobacco on communities, such as drugs, money laundering and exploitation.

“Eliminating illegal tobacco from our communities will not only address these serious criminal impacts, but is key to supporting the continued and steady decline in smoking we have seen over the past five years in Sheffield.”

If you have any suspicions or concerns about the sale of tobacco products near you, contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline who will forward your details to the STS on 08082231133 or email them directly at trading, [email protected]

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