Illegal cigarettes found in secret fridge compartment

Haul of illegal cigarettes
Haul of illegal cigarettes

Illegal cigarettes worth £2,000 have been unearthed from a secret compartment hidden in a fridge in a Byker shop.

Newcastle City Council’s Trading Standards officers received a tip off about the Shields Road business being involved in the sale of illegal cigarettes.

They attended the premises alongside Northumbria Police to investigate. Inside, they found 302 packets of illegal cigarettes and 41 packets of hand-rolling tobacco stored in a hidden space on top of a fridge inside the building.

The haul had a potential street value of almost £2,000.

A spokesperson for Newcastle City Council said: “Illegal tobacco is a familiar problem for our officers and we rely on members of the public to help us prevent criminals profiting from this activity.

“We know illegal tobacco has links to organised crime and it can have serious health implications for members of the public. Those who continue to flout the law are becoming more and more intricate in their deception.

“But together with our partners we will continue to work hard to hit those breaking the law where it hurts by disrupting their operations and showing it will never be tolerated in any part of our city.”

If you have information about the sale of illegal tobacco, report it to the Keep it Out campaign at keep-it-out.co.uk or call 0300 999 0000 – it’s quick, easy and completely anonymous.