£24,000 of Illicit cigarettes and tobacco seized
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The raids, which were the result of undercover test purchases and intelligence received, recovered more than 38,000 illicit cigarettes and 155 packs of hand rolling tobacco, as well as cash believed to be obtained through criminal activity.
The majority of the items seized were deliberately hidden in various places within the premises searched, but were quickly uncovered by detection dogs, once again proving their worth in thwarting the efforts of unscrupulous criminals.
Officers say the products were not produced or packaged for legal sale in the UK, and that “investigations are ongoing” to bring legal action to those involved.
Tom Smith, Rotherham Council’s assistant director for community safety and street scene said: “The officers concerned with this operation should take credit for the significant impact that they are having in protecting the interests of Rotherham residents by disrupting the activities of those who chose to operate outside the law.
“As well as affecting legitimate local retailers, the sale of illegal tobacco makes it easier for children to get hold of cheap tobacco and undermines the wider government efforts to reduce smoking.
“We would urge all members of the public to report criminal activity in their neighbourhoods so we can take action to prevent it.”