Illegal cigarettes and tobacco sniffed out by Wagtail dogs as part of major police operation in Cambridgeshire
- Credit: CITY COUNCIL
Thousands of illegal cigarettes and tobacco have been seized in a large joint authority operation in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire.
Dogs, belonging to specialist handlers Wagtail UK, sniffed out around 26,000 cigarettes in the operation by police, HM Revenue and Customs, immigration and trading standards.
They searched various locations in and around Peterborough city and Cambridgeshire for the illegal cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco.
Pooches Molly, Birch and Alfie helped the authorities make eight seizures which found the cigarettes and four kilos of HRT.
Peterborough City Council say that some of the stock found by the sniffer dogs “will be counterfeit and will fail safety tests”.
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The same handlers used sniffer dogs to recover 56,000 cigarettes and 76kg of hand rolling tobacco from shops in March and Wisbech in February 2016.
Estimates suggested that the haul, which was believed to be counterfeit, had a street value of £8,000 and cost HM Revenue and Customs around £17,000 in lost taxes.
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A trading standards spokesman said: “Offenders need to know that they will face consequences if they choose to supply illicit tobacco to our communities.
“Trading standards welcome all information from the public about illicit sales of tobacco, particularly to children.”