Officers found most of the packets came from Lithuania and Bulgaria (Credit: Barking and Dagenham Council)
Trading standards officers received a tip off from a suspicious resident about a company, which cannot be named for legal reasons, in Rainham Road South.
They raided the business and recovered 10,800 illicit cigarettes on Friday, 13 August.
There were 540 packets in total, containing 20 cigarettes each, with an estimated street value of more than £5,000.
None of them were in plain packaging or had the appropriate health warnings in English as required by law.
Officers later discovered the majority of them originally came from Lithuania and Bulgaria.
The supply of illegal and cheap cigarettes if often linked to other organised crime according to Barking and Dagenham Council.
It also increases smoking among young people and goes against the government’s Tobacco Plan to reduce smoking to under 5 per cent by 2030.
Councillor Margaret Mullane, cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, said: “We take matters like this very seriously and our enforcement officers will always follow up on all intelligence leads.
“Businesses have a responsibility to operate in a correct manner and if they’re not, we will investigate and take enforcement action. I am thankful to the tip off and will encourage residents to be vigilant and inform of us anything untoward.”
Residents who become aware of a similar situation can report it by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 101.
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