Medway Council’s Trading Standards Team has seized more than 133,000 illegal cigarettes.
Illegal tobacco was seized from retail premises in Chatham and Rochester on Thursday, 4 July and in Chatham and Strood on Friday, 5 July. The Illegal tobacco was found in a secret hide in a staircase, in a loft and an upstairs room. Sniffer dogs helped with the discoveries.
Medway Council’s Trading Standards team seized 133,820 cigarettes and 7.6 kilos of hand rolling tobacco. The investigation into the matter is ongoing.
This is the second seizure of thousands of illegal cigarettes in a week following Trading Standard’s successful joint operation with Kent Police on Friday, 28 June when more than 82,000 illegal cigarettes were seized from a premises in Chatham.
Illegal tobacco products are extremely dangerous
Cllr Jane Chitty, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder covering Enforcement, said: “Illegal tobacco is a national issue and I would like to commend our Trading Standards team and Kent Police for all their hard work in stopping these products from being sold on our streets. Illegal tobacco products are extremely dangerous and can cause serious health problems. I would also like to thank residents for continuing to report shops selling illegal cigarettes to us. We will continue to take action against anyone found to be trading in illegal tobacco.”
Police Constable Simon Ince, from Kent Police’s Medway Community Safety Unit, said: “The continued success of these cigarette seizures is a testament to the close partnership work between Medway Council’s Trading Standards team and Kent Police.
“The efforts of the officers involved, across both organisations, has caused significant disruption to individuals looking to make money through the sale of illegal goods and is just one example of the close, partnership work, that goes on throughout the year.
“We will continue to work with the council to help reduce crime across the Medway towns.”