Counterfeit cigs found in shops search
Illegal tobacco was found during a joint operation on North Tyneside.
The council’s trading standards team and Northumbria Police used sniffer dogs in a search of six general dealer stores in the Wallsend, Whitley Bay and North Shields areas last Thursday.
In a North Shields store, the shopkeeper was found wearing a coat containing four packets of cigarettes that are suspected to be counterfeit and two pouches of hand-rolling tobacco suspected of being non-duty paid.
Trading standards is now conducting an investigation following the seizures. No offences were discovered in the five other premises.
Coun Carole Burdis, cabinet member for community safety and engagement, said: “The sale of illegal tobacco is not a victimless crime.
“It puts businesses that are trading legitimately at a disadvantage and can also create a cheap source of tobacco for young people, putting their health at risk into adulthood.
“I welcome this operation by our trading standards team and Northumbria Police. It demonstrates that we take action when criminal activities are suspected.”