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70,000 Cigarettes Seized

70,000 Cigarettes Seized

 

Officers from Bedford Borough Council’s Trading Standards Team, supported by Bedfordshire Police, carried out an operation looking for illicit tobacco and counterfeit alcohol focusing upon several suspected shops in Midland Road and Ford End Road areas of Bedford.

 

Three of the shops searched were found to have large quantities of illicit tobacco and alcohol stored in vehicles associated to the premises.

 

‘Illicit tobacco’ describes counterfeit or ‘smuggled’ foreign tobacco upon which the appropriate duties and taxes have not been paid, and it usually does not comply with UK legislation around packaging. Counterfeit cigarettes are particularly dangerous as the ingredients used come from unknown sources and have been found in many cases to contain non tobacco vegetable matter.

 

The stores who were selling the illicit tobacco are now facing further enforcement action by Bedford Borough Council, while the Council and Bedfordshire Police will continue to work together to prevent the sale of illicit and counterfeit alcohol and tobacco in our Borough.

 

Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Regulatory Services, Cllr Colleen Atkins said “This was a successful partnership operation carried out by Bedford Borough Council’s Trading Standards Team supported by Bedfordshire Police. We are particularly pleased the illicit alcohol and possibly dangerous counterfeit cigarettes have been taken off the streets.”

 

Bedfordshire Police’s Community Safety Sergeant Liam Mitchell said: “This is an excellent example of partnership and multi-agency working. Our priority is keeping the public safe, part of which is ensuring that customers know what they are buying. The production and sale of counterfeit or illicit tobacco is often linked to organised crime and we work closely with the council to take a robust stance with any licensed premise that breaks the law. We are pleased to have assisted in taking such vast quantities of potentially dangerous products off our streets.”

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