Thousands of cigarettes seized in Worthing

Illicit tobacco has been seized. Photo: West Sussex County Council

Illicit tobacco has been seized. Photo: West Sussex County Council

More than 15,000 cigarettes, along with £1,550 in cash and a vehicle, have been seized in Worthing as part of an investigation into illicit tobacco.

According to a statement from West Sussex County Council, Sussex Police broke into a vehicle on Friday following public reports of suspicious activity nearby, and seized the vehicle with the cigarettes and 550 tobacco pouches found inside.

Illicit tobacco has been seized. Photo: West Sussex County Council

Illicit tobacco has been seized. Photo: West Sussex County Council

West Sussex Trading Standards also visited a shop in Worthing the vehicle was registered to and found 200 cigarettes, 70 pouches of tobacco and £1,550 in cash.

David Barling, county council cabinet member for residents’ services said: “Once again this shows the excellent job our Trading Standards team do in monitoring the actions of these lawbreakers.

“The illegal tobacco trade is not safe for consumers and also harms legitimate businesses. We will make sure these criminals face the consequences of their actions.”

Richard Sargeant, Trading Standards team manager added: “Illegal, counterfeit tobacco can be extremely dangerous as it does not self-extinguish, which can lead to house fires.

“These cigarettes and tobacco pouches were foreign labelled and we suspect they are counterfeit, which are both offences under the Consumer Protection Act and the Trade Marks Act.”

Anyone with information about illicit tobacco can contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506 or can report details online at www.westsussex.gov.uk/tsreport

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