Tip-off leads to illegal tobacco find

Julie Middlehurst, Wigan Councils Regulatory Services manager
Julie Middlehurst, Wigan Councils Regulatory Services manager

A major haul of cash and counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco has been seized by Wigan's trading standards team.

The town hall said officers, working alongside HM Revenues and Customs and Greater Manchester Police, raided two properties in Beech Hill earlier this month.

The action came as a result of information being passed on by a member of the public.

Julie Middlehurst, Wigan Council’s Regulatory Services manager said: “We do our absolute best to ensure that illicit goods are taken off our streets and we are extremely thankful to members of the public who report intelligence to us.

“The illegal tobacco trade is a vile trade which makes it easier for children to access cigarettes smoking, takes advantage of cash-strapped families, and is unfair on law abiding local businesses.”

“We would strongly encourage anyone with any concerns about issues in their area to contact us confidentially with information.”

The team had received a number of complaints that children had been buying cigarettes from the targeted properties and had started feeling unwell.

The items - more than £15,000 in cash and 100 packs of counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco - have been confiscated and individuals involved are now under investigation, the council added.