£30k worth of illegal tobacco hidden under floorboards seized by police in Gloucester

  • Watch: Officers discover the tobacco at the Gloucester property

More than £30,000 worth of illegal tobacco has been seized by police after it was hidden in a secret hatch under floorboards at a property in Gloucester.

Police officers and trading standards officers found 4,465 packs of cigarettes and 806 pouches of hand rolling tobacco after pulling back the carpet at the property in the Barton area.

Further stashes were also found in the kitchen, under the stairs and inside a fridge-freezer.

No duty had been paid on the tobacco, evading more than £55,000 in tax and Gloucestershire County Council's trading standards suspect the cigarettes were part of an organised supply chain supporting sales of illegal tobacco, which costs the UK taxpayer around £2.3 billion a year.

Last month, officers also seized more than £41,000 worth of illegal tobacco from a property in Southgate Street.

Cllr Dave Norman, cabinet member responsible for trading standards, said: “Illegal tobacco harms the trade of legitimate suppliers and poses a risk to public health. Our trading standards team works hard to make sure these counterfeit products are kept off the street."

Inspector Si Motala, from the Gloucester Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “This is not just a case of taking cheap tobacco off the streets. We know that illegal tobacco is often used to fund organised crime, which can have a significant impact on our communities.

“I hope this warrant shows that we will work with our partners, including trading standards, to disrupt those who are involved in this line of criminality.”