More than 7,000 illicit cigarettes seized in joint raids

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Two people have been arrested and tobacco with a street value of £5,000 has been seized in the latest raids to crack down on shops suspected of selling counterfeit cigarettes.

Derbyshire police and Derbyshire County Council Trading Standards officers raided two shops in Park Corner, Ripley, and Victoria Street, Shirebrook, on Tuesday.

More than 7,000 cigarettes and 94 pouches of hand-rolling tobacco were seized as well as a number of bottles of suspected illicit vodka.

A specially-trained sniffer dog helped find the products at the premises.

A 29-year-old woman and a 32-year-old man have been arrested and released on bail pending further inquiries.

The raids are part of an ongoing joint enforcement campaign to tackle the sale of illicit tobacco in the county.

Det Sgt Mike Nicols, from Derbyshire police, said: “We continue to work with trading standards and other partners to combat the increase we’ve seen in this illegal trade.

“We’re standing up for legitimate local traders whose businesses are being damaged by counterfeit and illicit tobacco and alcohol being sold at vastly reduced prices.

“We will continue to act on information passed to us about counterfeit and illegal products being sold in our communities.”

Anyone with information about the sale of illegal tobacco should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or HM Revenue and Customs on 0800 595 000.