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Over 12,000 illegal cigarettes seized in Barking and Dagenham

The raids were supported by specially trained sniffer dogs (Pic-Barking and Dagenham council)

An operation by Barking and Dagenham Council Trading Standards team has seized over 12,000 illicit cigarettes. 

The planned operation is part of a London wide tobacco project, Operation CeCe, which is hoping to prevent the supply of illegal tobacco and also stop the supply to those underage.

On Friday 8, October, enforcement officers raided six local businesses following intelligence and test purchasing that showed illegal tobacco was being sold. 

Three of the premises which had been raided recovered Eastern European tobacco. 

Premises A was found with 1,300 cigarettes, premises B with 10,000, and premises C had 900, all of which were seized. They have a street value of £5,185.

The cigarettes were not in plain packaging and did not show tar or nicotine content.

All of the cigarettes were duty avoided, not in plain packaging, and were not labeled with tar and nicotine content information which is legally required. 

Councillor Margaret Mullane, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety who joined in the operation, said: “Operations like these not only ensure that businesses in the borough are operating on the right side of the law, but also protect the health of our residents.

“The operation was a huge success with thousands of illegal cigarettes taken off our streets. I would like to thank all officers involved.”

The operation was supported by six specialist sniffer dogs to help locate the illegal cigarettes and tobacco.

The three guilty premises, which can not be named whilst investigations are ongoing, were cautioned and questioned during the raid and will now face further investigation.

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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