Tobacco seized in illegal crackdown

West Yorkshire Trading Standards seized thousands of pounds of tobacco.
West Yorkshire Trading Standards seized thousands of pounds of tobacco.

Illegal cigarettes and tobacco worth thousands of pounds have been seized by West Yorkshire Trading Standards as part of a nationwide crackdown.

Government officials in the region have seized more than 37,000 cigarettes and 22kg of illegal tobacco during a large-scale operation to fight illegal tobacco selling.

The products were discovered during Operation Henry raids, which were coordinated by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) and supported by the Department of Health.

David Lodge, from West Yorkshire Trading Standards, said: “People who deal in illegal tobacco are more likely to encourage others, especially children and young adults, to smoke.

“Our trading standards officers are working hard to keep these illegal products off the streets and are cracking down on the businesses and individuals that flout the law.”

Trained detection dogs discovered stashes of concealed tobacco at eight separate premises worth £10,000.

Illegal products were hidden in areas including voids in walls, pieces of furniture and hydraulically-operated floor concealments.

Operation Henry was the first large-scale coordinated trading standards investigation of its kind to tackle the issue.

It is being followed by Operation Henry 2, which will tackle illegal tobacco sales in nine regions across the country.

The investigation will run over six months.