Illegal tobacco worth £15,000 found in ventilation unit at Wakefield shop

Illegal cigarettes and tobacco worth £15,000 have been uncovered in ventilation units at a shop in the Wakefield district.

Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 10:09 am

West Yorkshire Trading Standards found the stash at the unnamed premises yesterday, with 20,000 cigarettes and 5.5kg of rolling tobacco confiscated.

A wall-mounted ventilation unit was stuffed full of the illicit cigarettes, as was a nearby microwave.

A spokesman for Trading Standards said they would not name the shop at the moment because of the ongoing criminal investigation.

Found them....the hidden tobacco. (pics by WYTS)

He added: "Intelligence was received that the premises was dealing in illegal tobacco. A thorough search of the premises and grounds by the team led to the find of the tobacco products.

“Far from being a victimless crime, illegal tobacco trading creates a cheap source for children and young people and encourages adults to continue smoking by eroding cost motivation to quit.

"Members of the public should recognise the adverse health, economic and social impacts of the illicit trade of tobacco products.

"It is also linked to organised crime and contributes to an underground economy worth billions of pounds which results in dealers going to extreme lengths and using very sophisticated methods to hide the tobacco products from trading standards.

"Victims of human trafficking are often being forced to sell these illegal products in order to pay off debts or fearing harm to themselves or their families."