Officers from Derby City Council’s Trading Standards team have this week carried out several raids at shops and home addresses across the city known to be connected with the sale and supply of illicit tobacco and cigarettes.

During the raids Trading Standards Officers were assisted by Derbyshire Police and a specially trained sniffer dog from Wagtail.

Officers seized over 150,000 cigarettes which equated to a street value of over £73,000 and tax evasion of over £46,000. The main suspects were arrested and taken into police custody.

Cllr Afzal, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Public Protection who was present on the day said:

“We will not tolerate the sale and supply of illicit tobacco and cigarettes in our city. It undermines the public health agenda and also steals business away from legitimate retailers by undercutting costs set by Government.

Our Trading Standards team do a tremendous job reducing the amount of illicit goods on sale across Derby and they have made Derby a safer place.”

Fakir Mohamed Osman, Trading Standards Team Leader added:

“Our Trading Standards team is playing its part in tackling this trade which has a complex profile and links to organised crime. We will continue to clamp down on the illegal sales of such goods and ensure the people in Derby are safe from traders who break the law.”

The public can help in the fight against the sale of illicit tobacco and cigarettes. To report any incidents please call the Citizens Advice Helpline on 0345 404 05 06 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.