Illegal cigarettes worth £2,000 found stashed in hidden compartment of Cheltenham shop

Illegal tobacco and cigarettes worth £2,000 were found stashed inside a hidden compartment by Trading Standards. Credit: Gloucestershire County Council

Illegal tobacco and cigarettes worth more than £2,000 have been seized by Trading Standards after they were found stashed in the door frame of a Cheltenham shop.

Trading Standards officers from Gloucestershire County Council uncovered the hidden stash during a recent inspection.

Their suspicions were raised after officers recognised two men working in the shop from another store that was known to sell illegal tobacco.

Officers also noticed the shop, which has not been named but was based in the High Street area, had limited stock - certainly not enough to provide a legal income.

Some of the stash. Credit: Gloucestershire County Council

According to Trading Standards, this is a common trait among shops involved in the sale of illegal tobacco.

During a search of the premises on March 6, officers found a concealed hiding place within the frame of a door.

By pulling part of it away from the wall, officers revealed a hidden compartment which extended into the wall of the shop when closed.

The hiding place contained 353 packs of 20 cigarettes including counterfeit versions of Regal and Richmond and 77 pouches of 50g hand-rolling tobacco.

Watch the moment Trading Standards officers found the stash below:

The Trading Standards investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with any information which might help is asked to call Trading Standards on 03454 040506, email or get in touch anonymously via their website.