20,000 questionable cigarettes stuffed in strange hiding places in the Wakefield store
Thousands of pounds of illegal cigarettes and tobacco were found stuffed into a fan and microwave at Wakefield yesterday.
West Yorkshire Trade Standards received information which led them to carry out an in-depth search of a neighborhood store.
After looking inside a wall fan and microwave, they discovered over 20,000 cigarettes and 5.5kg of tobacco, worth around £ 15,000 had it been legitimate.
Trading Standards is currently carrying out a criminal investigation and has therefore not disclosed the names of the premises.
West Yorkshire Trading Standards Director Linda Davis said Yorkshire Live : “Far from being a victimless crime, the illegal tobacco trade creates a cheap source for children and youth and encourages adults to continue smoking by eroding the financial motivation to quit.
“Members of the public should recognize the adverse effects on health, economy and society of the illicit trade in tobacco products.
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“It is also linked to organized crime and contributes to an underground economy worth billions of pounds, forcing dealers to go to extreme lengths and use very sophisticated methods to hide tobacco products up to commercial standards. .
“Victims of human trafficking are often forced to sell these illegal products in order to repay their debts or for fear of harming themselves or their families.
“I want to thank all partners and members of the public for reporting illegal sales and I encourage everyone to continue to do so to reduce the harm caused by tobacco in our communities. “
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