Over 2,000 illegal cigarettes seized in Llanelli raid
Over 2,000 illegal cigarettes have been seized in Llanelli as part of a major crackdown on the illegal tobacco trade.
The discovery at a retail store had a street value of £1,647 and was made by Carmarthenshire Trading Standards officers as part of an ongoing national initiative Operation CeCe in partnership with Her Majesties Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to tackle illegal tobacco sales.
Officers also uncovered one kilo of rolled tobacco and illegal medicines.
A million cigarettes with a street value of £200,000 have been seized during the raids across Wales.
The haul seized across Wales, which includes over £1 million cigarettes and 3,377.6 pouches of hand-rolling tobacco, has a total street value of nearly £300,000.
Evidence has been found of illegal tobacco supplies in 17 out of 22 local authority areas in Wales and seizures have taken place in 12 areas so far.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Protection, Cllr Philip Hughes, said: “This money would have ended up in the pockets of criminal gangs and we will continue to take action against anyone selling illegal tobacco.
Not only do these criminal gangs profit from selling cheap tobacco, they make it more affordable for children to buy them and leading them into a long term addiction which could have devastating effects on their health.
Our officers will continue to gather intelligence and we will take action on anyone caught selling illegal tobacco.”
Since the launch of the crackdown in January 2021 Trading Standards and HMRC have been gathering intelligence on criminal tobacco gangs and are planning more raids across Wales in the next few months.
(Lead image: Torfaen Council)
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