Thousands of illegal cigarettes seized from property in Witney

Master Tobacco - SOUTH EAST

Oxfordshire residents are being protected from illegal tobacco sales after 24,000 smuggled and suspected counterfeit cigarettes, with a market value of £12,000, were seized from a property in Witney on Wednesday 17 October..

Oxfordshire County Council’s Trading Standards, with Thames Valley Police officers and specialist sniffer dogs, raided a property in Highworth Place, where the illegal cigarettes were found.

The latest seizure comes as part of the “Keep it Out” campaign, an Oxfordshire County Council crackdown on illegal tobacco.

Jody Kerman, Oxfordshire County Council’s Operations Manager for Trading Standards, said: “All tobacco is harmful. But illegal tobacco poses an additional threat to our children and communities, because it is sold at pocket money prices by criminals who may not be interested in asking for proof of age.

“We’re committed to helping people live safe, healthy lives; cracking down on the illegal tobacco trade is one of our top priorities.

“Smoking remains a major cause of premature death. We also know that the availability of cheap, illegal tobacco helps recruit the next generation of smokers and undermines initiatives to help adults quit smoking.”

The sale of illegal tobacco is a criminal offence that can result in imprisonment and unlimited fines. Anyone wishing to report the selling of illegal tobacco can do so anonymously online www.stop-illegal-tobacco.co.uk Alternatively, call the Illegal Tobacco Hotline on 0300 999 6 999.