Dogs sniff out Sheffield tobacco stash

Cigarettes hidden in the top of an oven at Abbey Stop Shop, Abbeydale Road, were sniffed out by dogs during illegal tobacco raids.
Cigarettes hidden in the top of an oven at Abbey Stop Shop, Abbeydale Road, were sniffed out by dogs during illegal tobacco raids.
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Contraband cigarettes stashed in the top of an oven were sniffed out by dogs during raids on shops selling illegal tobacco.

They were found hidden under the hot plates of the oven at Abbey Stop Shop on Abbeydale Road, in the operation by police and Sheffield Council Trading Standards officers.

Dogs also found a hidden compartment with a hydraulic infra-red operating mechanism to open and close a false wall panel at Veeno’s Supermarket on London Road.

Two traders appeared in Sheffield Magistrates’ Court and were ordered to pay fines following the raids.

Coun Jack Scott, cabinet member for environment, recycling and streetscene, said: “We often act on intelligence received from the public and the success of this operation shows even the smallest piece of intelligence can make all the difference.

“Although the traders go to extraordinary lengths to hide their contraband, we are determined to find it.

“Highly trained tobacco dogs mean no hiding place is safe.”

Hassan Mohammed of Abbey Stop Shop pleaded guilty to three specimen offences under the Trade Marks Act and was fined £300 and ordered to pay £623 towards costs.

Hessen Por of Veeno’s Supermarket pleaded guilty to five specimen offences under the act and was fined £150 and ordered to pay £725 towards costs.

Police seized a haul of 278 packs of contraband cigarettes and 23 packs of hand rolling tobacco in the raids, which targeted seven premises. The court ordered forfeiture of the products for destruction.

n Anyone with information about the sale of illegal tobacco should call Citizens Advice on 08454 04 05 06.