Lincolnshire Trading Standards have led a multi-agency investigation raiding a number of homes in Mablethorpe, resulting in the seizure of thousands of cigarettes and packets of hand rolling tobacco.
Lincolnshire Trading Standards, Lincolnshire Police’s Mablethorpe Community Beat Team and officers from its Licensing department together with the East Midlands’ Operational Support Service from Nottingham, worked together to execute warrants in Mablethorpe yesterday morning (August 11).
They recovered counterfeit tobacco and a new illegal brand of cigarettes not seen in Lincolnshire before. Products have been sent to the analyst for further investigation.
Mylo, the sniffer dog from Wagtail UK, also assisted in the investigation.
Emma Milligan, principal trading standards officer at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “We received intel via Crimestoppers that fake fags were being stored and sold from the properties. We acted quickly with our enforcement colleagues from Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Police forces, and managed to intercept packets of non-duty paid and incorrectly labelled fags and counterfeit hand rolled tobacco.”
Sergeant Gary Joynes from the Mablethorpe Community Beat Team at Lincolnshire Police, commented: “Tackling serious and organised crime is a priority for agencies in Lincolnshire. Joint working can really make a difference to our ongoing commitment to reduce the threat and harm that it poses to our local communities.
“All agencies working together was crucial in the planning of this operation. I’m delighted that we managed to seize a number of unsafe and non-duty paid goods, which are now off the streets.
“We are as determined as ever to keep up the pressure on those who commit and fund criminality.”
Emma added:“As Trading Standards Officers, we’re here to ensure a fair and equitable trading environment for all, so we’re here to protect consumers and genuine retailers selling genuine products and crack down on those who don’t.
“It is also important for us to protect young people from buying age-restricted products. Investigations are ongoing.”
Anyone with any information about the sale of counterfeit cigarettes or illegal tobacco, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.