Sniffer dog used in raids to find hidden illegal tobacco

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A SNIFFER dog has been used to help to find tobacco with a street value of £6,535 in raids on shops in Chesterfield and Belper.

More than 14,000 cigarettes and 102 rolling tobacco pouches, which are believed to be counterfeit or smuggled, were seized in raids on two premises on Wednesday.

The Chesterfield raid at Bzee Shop, Cavendish Street, led to the seizure of 4,700 cigarettes and 1.85kg of rolling tobacco with a combined street value of £2,200.

The tobacco was concealed in a security door and inside a water heater.

Shop worker Omid Said Mohammed appeared at Chesterfield Magistrates’ Cour on Thursday, where he admitted a charge under the Trade Marks Act of selling a counterfeit pouch of Golden Virginia tobacco.

The Belper raid resulted in the seizure of 5,500 cigarettes and 1.75kg of rolling tobacco, which were concealed in a metal security door and a vacuum cleaner.

A man was arrested, questioned, and bailed pending further enquiries.

Coun Kevin Parkinson , of Derbyshire County Council, said: “Using sniffer dogs is just one of the ways we’re sending a message to retailers it just isn’t worth taking the risk of selling counterfeit or non-duty paid tobacco.”