A total of 150,000 cigarettes and 25Kg of illegally imported and counterfeit tobacco has been seized and destroyed during joint operations involving officers from HMRC and Derby City Council Trading Standards team with an estimated total value of £88,000.
The evasion of tax duty on tobacco reduces the flow of money to provide services and funding for our communities. HMRC will take steps to recover evaded duty from those responsible for it, leading to serious financial penalties for those involved and in this case, HMRC are actively seeking to recover the duty from one trader.
The sale of illicit tobacco in Derby poses a serious and increased threat to the health of our community. There are the inherent increased costs to our National Health Service due to the toxins and contaminants within it. In the past plastics and rat droppings have been found in the tobacco due to unhygienic production and storage.
There is also a seriously increased fire risk. The fire safety regulations which apply to cigarettes are not followed by illicit tobacco producers, meaning illicit cigarettes are not self-extinguishing.
Fakir Osman, Team Leader of the Derby City Council Trading Standards Team said:
“We have previously, and will continue in the future, to actively pursue those selling illicit tobacco, running premises for illicit sales or letting premises for these purposes and that those involved can expect Trading Standards to work with our partners to take appropriate action.”