Huge haul of illegal tobacco seized in Newcastle

The illegal tobacco seized from one residential home.
The illegal tobacco seized from one residential home.

A huge haul of illegal tobacco products has been seized following a further week of targeted raids in Newcastle.

Newcastle City Council Trading Standards team have seized over 4, 200 cigarettes and 2.6kg of hand rolling tobacco (HRT) following a swoop on two Newcastle pubs.

Acting upon new intelligence from the regional ‘Keep it Out’ campaign, officers removed the illegal tobacco from customers operating their own businesses in two local pubs located in the west end and the city centre. Some 3,420 cigarettes and 2kg of HRT were seized from one pub and a further 820 cigarettes and 0.6kg of HRT from the other.

As part of Operation Holly Northumbria police also seized a further 133, 860 cigarettes and 7.5kg of hand rolling tobacco from a residential property in the west end. It is suspected that this property was used a storage for the illegal tobacco products.

The pre-Christmas purge has seen over 137, 000 illegal cigarettes and 10kgs of HRT removed from the streets of Newcastle with an estimated street value of £37,000 and a full retail tax value of £87,000.

Cllr Nick Kemp, Newcastle City Council cabinet member for Environment, said:

“I’m delighted that the public has got behind the Fresh campaign and it shows that communities are just as concerned about illegal tobacco as we are.

“This intelligence has led to a significant seizure and removes these products from the streets and keeps them away from children in our city who risk becoming addicted to smoking.

“Through the work of our Trading Standards service we continue to spread the message that illegal tobacco will not be tolerated.”

People who have concerns about illegal tobacco or alcohol on sale can report it to Trading Standards via the Keep It Out Campaign line on 0300 999 0000 or visit keep-it-out.co.uk.