Tip off sparks raid on Dagenham business and £5k cigarettes seizure

cigarette stubs

Council officers carried out a raid on Friday, August 13 and found 540 packs totalling 10,800 illegal cigarettes with a street value of more than £5,000. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Thousands of illicit cigarettes were seized from a Dagenham business after trading standards officers received a tip off from a resident.

Council officers carried out a raid on Friday, August 13 and found 540 packs totalling 10,800 illegal cigarettes with a street value of more than £5,000, according to the town hall.

It followed a referral which was made via the trading standards intelligence database which alerted officers to a suspicion that unlawful tobacco was being supplied.

While an investigation takes place, the business is not being named by the council.

Cllr 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."

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The packets of ciggies were found to have gone against 2016 regulations around tobacco related products and 2015 rules on the standardisation of tobacco product packaging.

This means the cigarettes were neither in plain packaging nor displayed the appropriate health warnings in English.

The supply of illicit, cheap, and counterfeit cigarettes has been linked to organised crime and can also take revenue away from HM Revenue and Customs, the council said.

Availability of cheap cigarettes also encourages smoking among young people, goes against the council’s tobacco control agenda and undermines government plans to reduce smoking to under 12 per cent of the UK population by 2022 and 5pc by 2030, according to the authority.

If anyone becomes aware of similar matters, they are asked to report them to trading.standards@lbbd.gov.uk or call 101.

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