SNIFFER dogs helped to uncover illegal tobacco in raids carried out in Burnley on Wednesday.
More than 300 packs of contraband cigarettes, tobacco, tobacco blunts and cigar rolls were seized after 14 retail premises were visited by Trading Standards, HM Revenue and Customs and two sniffer dogs.
The haul included possible counterfeit and non-duty-paid tobacco products which cannot be legally sold in the UK. HMRC also seized 76 bottles of non-duty-paid alcohol.
County Coun. Albert Atkinson, deputy leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “We regularly act on intelligence received from the public, and the success of this week’s operation shows that even the smallest piece of intelligence can make all the difference.
“It also demonstrates that more and more people are beginning to understand the serious threat that illegal tobacco poses to our communities and, just as tellingly, that fewer and fewer people are prepared to tolerate it.
“The highly trained tobacco dogs leave no hiding places for those who trade in illegal tobacco, making them a valuable contribution to the armoury of our Trading Standards Service.”
The dogs, named Murphy and Ozzie, were provided by Wagtail UK Ltd and funded by Tobacco Free Lancashire, a! collaborative partnership including healthcare professionals formed to help protect children and young people from the harms of tobacco.
Anyone with information about the sale of illegal tobacco should call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 04 05 06 or the confidential Crimestoppers hotline on 0800 555 111.