Trading Standards officers seized approximately 5,500 cigarettes at the end of May 2014 when they visited shops in Westminster as part of a joint operation with HMRC and the police.
For the first time ever, they were joined by a dog handler with two ‘sniffer’ dogs, Bradley and Buster (trained to detect tobacco products) from a company called Wagtail who specialise in providing expertly trained dogs to detect not only tobacco, but explosives, firearms, cash and drugs.
Acting on intelligence gathered by Trading Standards, 3 shops in various parts of Westminster believed to be selling illicit cigarettes were visited as part of the joint operation. In the majority of cases the cigarettes seized did not have the correct health warnings on the packaging and others were foreign branded and had been brought into the UK without having had the correct duty paid.
All items seized will be the subject of further investigation by Trading Standards.
You can read more information on the Trading Standards Team here.