Illegal tobacco and cash found during raid

Trading standards officers carried out a search on a Gloucester city centre shop. Credit: Gloucestershire County Council

Gloucestershire County Council’s Trading Standards officers have continued their crackdown on illegal tobacco with a raid in Eastgate Street, Gloucester.

Trading standards officers carried out a search on a city centre shop following intelligence about large quantities of illegal cigarettes and tobacco being sold from the address.

During the search, teams uncovered a hole in the floor of the flat that which was being used to drop illegal tobacco into the shop below.

A small quantity of illegal tobacco was found next to the tobacco chute and in a nearby oven.

Officers also discovered a mobile phone that was used to receive orders from a phone kept next to the shop’s till. Further illegal tobacco was found in the shop at the foot of the chute.

Alongside the tobacco chute, our teams identified another supply of illegal tobacco and cigarettes in a concealed space under the stairs which was hidden from view by makeshift wooden panels and shelves.

More than 1,120 packets of cigarettes and over 350 pouches of tobacco were discovered during the raid, with an estimated value of £8,000. Included in the discovery were counterfeit plain packaged Mayfair cigarettes.

Officers also discovered approximately £4,500 in cash concealed within a sofa and the inside of a toaster. The cash is suspected to be the proceeds of illegal cigarette sales.

A large quantity of cash was found in a sofa. Credit: Gloucestershire County Council