Illicit tobacco and cigarettes worth over £20,000 seized by police and Trading Standards
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Over 21,800 cigarettes and 2.75kg of loose tobacco was seized by police during a warrant looking for counterfeit goods.
The warrant, carried out by officers from the North West Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit and Manchester City Trading Standards, also identified links to an organised crime group, cash, human trafficking and untaxed and uninsured vehicles, used for storing illicit and suspected counterfeit goods.
There were also fire safety concerns and other Trading Standards offences committed in the properties.
The cigarettes and tobacco seized are worth over £20,000 if sold legitimately and at retail price.
Officers from the police and Trading Standards attended five business premises in the Gorton area of Manchester. Four people linked to the premises will be interviewed under caution and investigations are still ongoing.
T/ Detective Inspector, Kevin Ives, of the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), said:
“This shows that you really don’t know what other crimes you are funding when buying counterfeit goods, or the conditions those working for the criminals are conducting their business in.
“This operation showed the effectiveness of partnership working and I thank Manchester City Trading Standards for all their help.”
Councillor Tracey Rawlins, Manchester City Council's Executive Member for Environment, said:
"Strong partnership working is the backbone of successful enforcement action. Through these operations we can get harmful products off our streets, and bring the perpetrators of crime to justice."