visitors to Easter car boot sales in South Yorkshire are being urged to be on the lookout for traders selling counterfeit and smuggled cigarettes and alcohol.
HM Revenue and Customs wants rogue traders to be reported to stop cut-price cigarettes and booze being sold.
Officers say the fake goods are often produced in back-street or underground factories and their content cannot be guaranteed.
Stuart Crookshank, Assistant Director for HMRC, said: “Low-cost tobacco and alcohol products can often seem very attractive to people who believe they are buying genuine products at a knock-down price.
“Those involved are not concerned if they are selling to children and under-age people. The illicit trade has a devastating impact on legitimate retailers and the local community. We all pay extra to compensate for the money these criminals steal.
“The profits from tobacco and alcohol smuggling fund other criminal activities including drug and people trafficking and cause real harm in the local community.
“With over £2 billion in unpaid revenue stolen last year from public funds through tobacco smuggling and around £1bnn through alcohol smuggling, this crime impacts hard on the UKs finances.”
Many illegally sold cigarette brands seized in the UK are known as ‘cheap whites,’ made for smuggling and bought by crime gangs.
n Brands include Capital, Raquel, Richman, Jin Ling, Gold Classic, Beaufort Premium, Business Royal, Hiro, Walton, Marble, Palace and Hamiltons.