Tobacco stashed in car is not top gear
Counterfeit tobacco worth an estimated £6,800 has been seized by Gloucestershire County Council’s trading standards team.
A Coleford shop owner who has previously been linked to the sale of illegal tobacco is suspected of hiding the stash in a car to avoid getting caught again.
Trading standards officers forced entry to the vehicle following a tip-off from Gloucestershire Police early on Tuesday morning. The car was fitted with a metal grill over the rear window that protected the illegal contents in the back.
On further investigation, officers also found more cigarettes and tobacco in a food waste bin at the rear of the shop.
A total of 646 packets of cigarettes and 382 packs of 50g hand rolling tobacco were discovered. Counterfeit brands included Richmond, Mayfair and Amber Leaf and Jin Ling.
The car has been seized by Gloucestershire Police as it had been declared SORN (off road) but was on the public highway. Had the cigarettes and tobacco been sold, they would have made the shop an estimated £6,800.
Anyone with information on the sale of illegal tobacco, however small or insignificant they might think it is, is encouraged to report it by calling 03454 040506 or anonymously via our website at http://glos.tradingstandards.uk/report.htm
Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure said: “Well done to trading standards officers and police for another successful seizure. This is not a victimless crime: illegal tobacco has been found to contain all sorts of nasty ingredients, including human excrement, asbestos and dead flies.
“We will continue to work towards extinguishing the sale of illegal tobacco in Gloucestershire.”
Gloucestershire Stop Smoking Service can be contacted on 0300 421 0040 or at www.stopsmokingglos.nhs.uk