Foreign Cigarettes Seized
Foreign cigarettes and alcohol worth thousands of pounds have been seized by Newcastle City Council’s trading standards team.
Officers acting on a tip off swooped on a parked car and discovered 17,000 cigarettes and 74 bottles of bootleg alcohol.
Investigations are now underway to determine the source of the items as the team continue to crack down on illegal and potentially harmful goods being made available in the city.
The majority of the items seized where from foreign brands, with no English health warnings – they included cigarettes, such as “Kent”, “Business Royal” and “Richman” together with suspected counterfeit branded cigarettes including “Marlboro” and “Lambert and Butler”; with an estimated combined street value of £5000 and a true legal retail value of some £10000.
Cabinet Member for Regulation, Cllr Nick Kemp, said “This is another very significant seizure of tobacco and alcohol in the city and testament to the fantastic work of our Trading Standards team.
“I dread to think what harm these cigarettes and alcohol would could have caused to the health of the public if they were allowed to flood our streets.
“Most of what was seized is covered in foreign branding with no English warnings.
“People may think it’s a victimless crime, but it is sold to children and damages legitimate business.
“We will continue these raids until shopkeepers get the messages that selling this kind of stuff will cost them dearly in the long run and threaten their businesses and their livelihoods.”
Illegal tobacco and alcohol can cause serious harm to people’s health and is harder to regulate, meaning it is easier for children and vulnerable people to access. In extreme cases illegal alcohol can cause blindness.
The council through the work of Smoke Free Newcastle is clear that all tobacco is harmful to public health.
Anyone who is suspicious about illegal goods can report it to trading standards on 0191 2787878.