Illegal tobacco seized in Cheltenham swoop
Illegal tobacco and counterfeit cigarettes have been seized from two shops in Cheltenham.
Trading Standards team officers visited the two stores in Cheltenham, finding a total of £2,216 of illegal hand-rolling tobacco and cigarettes, including brands such as Golden Virginia, Cutters Choice, Palace and Embassy Regal.
They seized 129 packs of 20 cigarettes and 94 packs of 50g hand-rolling tobacco at the first shop and 67 packs of 20 cigarettes and 89 packs of 50g hand-rolling tobacco at the second shop.
The stores are not being named while Trading Standards continues its investigation. The evidence is now being assessed, with those responsible facing possible imprisonment of up to 10 years.
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Eddie Coventry, head of the county council's Trading Standards, said: "We encourage consumers to continue to report shops selling illegal tobacco because their valuable information can significantly aid our investigations.
"We will remain vigilant and take action to stop this criminal activity, which takes trade away from legitimate businesses in the county."
Anyone with information regarding the supply of counterfeits can contact us at www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/glos or through Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.
Councillor Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for communities, said: "This is another successful investigation into an illegal industry that damages reputable businesses in the county. Counterfeit tobacco products can put people's health at greater risk and this type of activity will not be tolerated in Gloucestershire."