£100,000-worth of contraband tobacco seized in Waddon raid

A trading standards raid in Waddon last week seized 175,000 illegal cigarettes estimated to be worth more than £100,000. The discovery has prompted the council to issue an urgent health warning over sales of cheap tobacco, and the threat to youngsters lured by the offer of cut-price cigarettes.

Council officials, working with HM Revenue and Customs as part of “Operation CeCe”, and using specially trained sniffer dogs, discovered the smuggled cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco.

Croydon Council has now issued a warning for locals not to buy cheap cigarettes or tobacco products, which may not meet with British or European product standards.

Contraband tobacco supplied to shops is often kept “under the counter”, and it is easier for young people to get hold of because it is generally cheaper than legal tobacco.

Contraband: some of the dodgy cigarettes sniffed out in last week’s raid in Waddon

Shop customers can spot illegal cigarettes because the packets may not include the correct health warnings or are written in foreign languages.

Anyone prosecuted and convicted of being involved in selling or supplying illegal tobacco can face penalties including up to 10 years in prison and an unlimited fine.

If you suspect that tobacco is being sold illegally, the council asks that you report it to Citizens’ Advice on 03454 040506.

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6 Responses to £100,000-worth of contraband tobacco seized in Waddon raid

  1. Lewis White says:

    Congratulations to the Council team who uncovered this and took action, and to HMRC staff too..
    It is good to read some positive news about Council workers doing a great job, serving the public at probably some real risks to themselves.

  2. Dragging out these ‘contraband tobacco’ stories always make me smile – counterfeit smokes are just as dangerous as branded stuff of course. I’m impressed that IC resisted the temptation to refer to this haul going up in smoke but I expect that’s what will happen. Keep up the good work.

    • There is something, from the old HM Customs & Excise days, known as “The Queen’s Pipe”, a chimney for a furnace where all sorts of contraband might be burned.

      On a good day/bad day (delete according to your outlook), standing downwind of the Queen’s Pipe, yu could sense a distinct odour of burning grass…

  3. Lewis White says:

    Burning grass? Sounds very like suburban Coulsdon nowadays !

  4. Mike Aldren says:

    175,000 cigarettes worth over £100k, that’s more than 57p each, surely not?

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