Three illegal tobacco raids in Herefordshire over the last month have uncovered £32,000 of tobacco duty evasion

Officers from Herefordshire Council's Trading Standards and West Mercia Police worked in partnership to carry out planned action at Europe Quality Food store on Brookend Street, Ross-on-Wye on Saturday 5 January 2019.

Trading Standards found and seized approximately 31,000 illegal foreign non UK-duty and counterfeit cigarettes. Two men were arrested at the scene on suspicion of being involved in the sale of illegal tobacco.

The raid at Europe Quality Food in Ross follows on from raids carried out in Hereford on 16 December 2018. A Multi Agency Targeted Enforcement Strategy (MATES) operation carried out a raid on Supersam (Eign Street, Hereford) and Maxii Mini Market (Commercial Road, Hereford) and seized 50,000 illegal cigarettes from the two premises along with a substantial amount of illegal hand rolling tobacco.

The overall seizure from the three shops amounts to £32,000 of tobacco duty evasion. Investigations are ongoing.

The sale of illegal tobacco from such retail premises seriously damages honest local business. Members of the public are urged to contact Trading Standards on 01432 261761 if they have information regarding the sale of illegal tobacco within Herefordshire.

Find out more about Herefordshire Trading Standards online at www.herefordshire.gov.uk/trading-standards

Published: Thursday, 10th January 2019