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Trading Standards discovers secret compartment full of illegal tobacco in Gloucester shop

The first stash of illegal tobacco contained a remote control that opened another hiding place. Photo: Gloucestershire County Council

Trading Standards officers have found a secret compartment in a Gloucester shop used to hide illegal tobacco.

The discovery was made during a raid in Eastgate Street.

Gloucestershire County Council says trading standards officers carried out the search the Gloucester city centre shop following intelligence about illegal cigarettes and tobacco being sold.

The hidden compartment was covered by a wicker basket. Credit: Gloucestershire County Council

The council says a total of 768 packets of cigarettes and 94 pouches of hand rolling tobacco totalling 4.7 kilograms were seized.

Officers uncovered two under floor hiding places revealing £3260 worth of illegal tobacco.

768
packets of cigarettes were seized from the property

The first underground hiding spot was found under a newly built partition wall.

The first hiding spot was beneath a partition wall. Credit: Gloucestershire County Council

The council says alongside the tobacco was a small remote control.

This opened a second hiding place – a unit sunk into the floor containing more illegal tobacco and cigarettes.

Trading Standards says officers are finding similarly constructed concealments in shops across the city.

Cllr Nigel Moor, the cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure says the sale of illegal tobacco funds criminal activity.

This latest example demonstrates the degree of sophistication involved in illegal tobacco sales. However, our officers are no fools and let this be yet another warning - break the law, and we will catch you.

– Cllr Nigel Moor

Watch the concealed compartment being opened:

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Trading Standards says the public should think about the consequences of buying illegal tobacco and report any illegal sale of cigarettes and tobacco.

Any residents with concerns about tobacco products being sold in the county can contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.