Illegal tobacco seized in raids

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MORE than 15,000 illegal cigarettes were seized after a trading standards and police crackdown.

A shop in Hindley, along with premises in Ashton and Wigan, were raided following public tip-offs.

Sniffer dogs were used to detect the whereabouts of the contraband, most of which was falsely made to appear to be duty-free with no UK labelling, with some of the products being counterfeit.

Julie Middlehurst, Wigan Council’s Trading Standards Manager, said: “Please don’t turn a blind eye to this issue.

“It isn’t a victimless crime. Children and young people could be getting hold of these products and potentially causing untold long term damage to their health. We are determined to clamp down on those people who deal in duty-free or counterfeit cigarettes. We have spoken to many young people aged 14 to 17 who smoke and they have admitted to buying cigarettes from illegitimate sources. We are grateful to those people who come forward with information because without their help, ridding our neighbourhoods of these illicit and dangerous goods would be all the more difficult.”