COUNTERFEIT cigarettes and tobacco and illegal alcohol have been seized in police raids at shops in Wrexham.
Accompanied by Trading Standards officers, North Wales Police officers and sniffer dogs visited several town centre premises on Friday to investigate reports concerning the supply of illegal tobacco and alcohol.
The raids were part of an ongoing campaign to stamp out the supply of the products and to raise awareness of the harm they can cause.
Nearly 100 bottles of alcohol were seized on suspicion of being non-compliant with UK legislation. They are now undergoing further investigation.
Illegal tobacco products were also recovered from retail premises including so called ‘cheap white’ cigarettes, and suspected counterfeit hand rolling tobacco.
Wrexham councillor Dana Davies, lead member for health and adult social care, said: “The impact of illegal products in our community cannot be underestimated.
They damage health, threaten the wellbeing of our children and have a detrimental impact on legitimate local business that lose trade to illegal sellers.
“The money lost through unpaid duty is money that could have been spent on schools, hospitals and in our communities. This action sends a clear message to those that deal in illegal products.”
Officers in Wrexham routinely carry out spot checks on businesses across the county in a bid to protect local businesses and the local economy, as well as taking a firm line against businesses selling illegal products.
The department is also keen to hear from anyone wishing to report any similar incidents. People can do so by calling the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
Trading Standards says illegal tobacco cost less than half the price of legitimate duty paid cigarettes and the low cost and ease of availability threatens the health of children, making it more affordable and easier to obtain as age restrictions are circumvented.