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Op Henry sniffs out illegal tobacco

More than £16,000 worth of illicit tobacco and cigarettes have been seized in Hounslow following a number of tip offs to the council’s trading standards team.

 

With support from Hounslow Council funded police officers and specialist sniffer dogs from BWY Canine, officers carried out a number of raids as part of their ongoing Operation Henry investigations into counterfeit and duty evaded tobacco.

From four separate premises in Hounslow, a haul of illicit tobacco, which includes foreign, smuggled or counterfeit items, was uncovered. 

 

From one premises alone 27,500 cigarettes worth £13,750, 500g of hand rolling tobacco with a value of £150, plus 185g of Shisha, worth £925 was seized.  Sniffer dogs Yoyo and Scamp were able to make a positive indication from behind a locked office door.

 

Also uncovered was £300 worth of oral snuff tobacco and 1,150 tobacco blunts valued at £1,725, bring the total street value of the confiscated products to £16,750.

 

A further stash of over 6,000 foreign cigarettes was found along with 150 pouches of chewing tobacco and possible counterfeit Silk Cut cigarettes to the value of £3,000, at a separate premises.

 

In another premises, around 700 cigarettes thought to have been illegally imported, were also discovered.

 

Councillor Sue Sampson, Cabinet Member for Community Protection, Hounslow Council, said: “This a tremendous find and shows how committed we are in tackling the underground trading of illicit tobacco.

 

“If anyone is found to have been importing and selling illegal tobacco, they will be caught, they will be fined and they will face the consequences of their actions.

 

“Once again, our residents have been the key to informing us about this illegal activity. We take all allegations of this nature very seriously and will always act on any leads we are given. By continuing to work together we can make Hounslow safer.”

 

The owner of each premises will now be interviewed under caution with the aim of prosecuting them for their actions.

 

If you are concerned about illicit tobacco and suspect it is being sold at a shop near you, email tradingstandards@hounslow.gov.uk

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