Thousands of illegal cigarettes were seized as part of a series of raids across North Tyneside.
Raids were carried out on Monday in a joint operation involving North Tyneside Council’s Trading Standards team and Northumbria Police using two specialist sniffer dogs.
The crime-busting canines, Yo-Yo and Scamp, are trained to sniff out tobacco which has been hidden in ceilings, behind panels and under floorboards.
In one raid 4,800 illegal cigarettes, worth around £2,000, were seized.
The cigarettes did not show the required information, such as whether the tobacco was ‘Duty Paid’ or the required health warnings. Some of the cigarettes were also suspected of being counterfeit.
Yo-Yo found illegal cigarettes in a hold-all and a handbag on the floor behind the premises’ counter and in a counter drawer, which also contained cash. The money was seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
The dog then sniffed out two sleeves of cigarette packs, each containing 200 illegal cigarettes that were hidden in the arms of a jacket hanging in a back room.