Thousands of cigarettes seized by Trading Standards officers as part of raids

Bradley the detection dog with some of the recovered cigarettes

Bradley the detection dog with some of the recovered cigarettes - Credit: Archant

Trading Standards have seized thousands of cigarettes – including from an outlet in Godmanchester - as part of a joint operation to tackle the sale of illegal cigarettes and tobacco.

Cambridgeshire County Council’s Trading Standards took part in raids with Cambridgeshire police, HM Revenue and Customs and Wagtail International last Thursday.

Together, they seized 25,000 cigarettes and 7.5kg of rolling tobacco. No arrests were made but Trading Standards officials have launched investigations.

The operation saw specially trained tobacco detection dogs from Wagtail International to uncover concealed tobacco at shops in Godmanchester, March and Wisbech.

Val Thomas, from Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “Illicit tobacco is often sold to children and young people putting their long term health at serious risk. This is not a victimless crime and anyone who suspects the sale of illegal cigarettes and tobacco should report it to Cambridgeshire Trading Standards on 0345 4040 506.

Illegal cigarettes and tobacco cost the government between £2-3 billion a year in lost revenue.

Frank Pasfield, Trading Standards officer for Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “These raids show our commitment to protecting local people and legitimate businesses who suffer as a result of this illegal trade. We will continue to fight this illegal activity. Anyone selling illicit cigarettes and tobacco should expect a visit from our officers and the resulting prosecution.”