Cigarettes and tobacco have been seized during raids on shops in Ilkeston, Ripley and Long Eaton, as part of a major operation to target the sale of illegal goods in Derbyshire.
Police and trading standards officers discovered 10,000 cigarettes and 15kg of hand-rolling tobacco, mostly hidden in concealed panels, at properties in Long Eaton, Newhall, Ripley and two in Ilkeston earlier this month.
The same enforcement operation also resulted in the seizure of two million illegal cigarettes and 580kg of tobacco with a street value of at least £1m during an inspection of six units on a self-storage site in South Derbyshire - one of the UK’s biggest trading standards hauls. Other goods included 31,000 Viagra-type tablets worth £155,000, 60 items of counterfeit clothing including fake G-Star jeans and Barbour jackets worth £5,000 and 30 boxes of illegally stored display fireworks valued at £6,000.
Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Health and Communities, Councillor Dave Allen, said: “This is one of the biggest single seizures of fake and illicit tobacco by trading standards officers in the UK and comes following a concerted campaign against sellers and suppliers of illegal cigarettes by our team over the past two years.
“It’s an extremely important result which has kept 92,000 packets of illegal cigarettes and 11,000 packs of hand rolling tobacco off the streets of Derbyshire and sends a clear message to illegitimate traders that we are clamping down on this trade across the county and they will not get away with it.”
A Derby man from has been questioned and bailed in connection with the South Derbyshire raids.