Sniffer dogs smoke out 10,000 illegal cigarettes

TWO sniffer dogs uncovered 10,000 illegal cigarettes during a series of raids in the East End.

The pair, Levi and Tyler, found stashes in several premises with Tower Hamlets Trading Standards officers and the police.

It was the first time sniffer dogs had been used for this purpose in the borough.

More than ten kilograms of illegal shisha and hand rolling tobacco were also seized.

Shops and self storage units were targeted using information gathered over weeks and months.


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Colin Perrins, Trading Standards and Environmental Health chief, said: “People often don’t realise the dangers of illegal cigarettes. Illegal tobacco products often contain substances like rat poison and haven’t been subject to the necessary checks.”

Some 284 premises in the borough have been visited since 2009, bringing in nearly 200,000 illegal cigarettes and 13 kilograms of illegal hand rolling tobacco.

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Fines from prosecutions brought in �20,000 last year.

Anyone with information about the illegal importation of tobacco should call HM Revenue and Customs hotline on 0800 59 5000.

Those who suspect they have been the victim of an illegal trader should call 020 7364 5008 or go to tradingstandards@towerhamlets.gov.uk.

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