Illegal tobacco found in swoop on Newtown address
A quantity of counterfeit tobacco has been found at a premises in Newtown following an operation by Powys County Council.
The council’s trading standards service, working with Dyfed Powys Police and BWY Canine, visited a Newtown address on Friday March 8 after acting on intelligence and found a quantity of counterfeit tobacco that was concealed to prevent detection.
The find is part of a wider operation and James Evans, cabinet member for trading standards said he hopes it will deter others from selling counterfeit products.
He said: "Combatting the supply of counterfeit and illegal tobacco is one of our ongoing priorities of our Trading Standards Service.
"There are fears that the trade in illegal tobacco could be funding organised crime both here in Wales and throughout the United Kingdom.
“We are looking to increase the understanding of the impact it has amongst smokers and local communities when shadow activities occur with illicit products.
“Operations of this nature, should also serve as a warning to those involved in the supply and sale of illegal tobacco that we will take the appropriate action with partners that is necessary to combat this problem.”
Dyfed-Powys Police was part of the operation and the council has said it wouldn't have been possible without their work, according to lead on trading standards Clive Jones.
He said the sale of illegal tobacco harms above-board traders.
He added: "This illegal trade harms legitimate traders in Powys and wider afield. Over the past two years we have seized nearly 60,000 illegal cigarettes and 60kg of illegal tobacco as part of our overarching operation on illicit products, named Operation Date. Investigations are ongoing.
“The supply of illegal tobacco bypasses government tobacco control measures, such as not selling tobacco to children and availability of illegal tobacco is increasing. This makes it more likely that youngsters will start smoking and we find that counterfeit products often contain high levels of heavy metals such as cadmium.
“Our surveillance on illegal activity involving counterfeit products of any variety is increasing and we ask users or any person offered suspected counterfeit goods to be vigilant and to warn us of any suspicious sellers through our contact points. Alternatively ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
“This action would not have been possible without the support of Dyfed Powys Police and we wish to thank officers from operational policing team and intelligence units and support agencies such as BWY Canine.”