Walsall Trading Standards officers, West Midlands Police and a highly trained tobacco detector dog named ’Scamp’ seized over 23000 illegal cigarettes from two stores in Walsall this week, following intelligence that illegal tobacco was being sold from them. When Officers raided the stores on Wednesday they quickly knew that the tip off was correct. During their first haul Springer spaniel ‘Scamp’ located 8000 cigarettes behind a serving counter. Within seconds of entering the second store, the professional detector dog sprang into action barking, looking upwards toward the ceiling to let his handler know that he was on to something. Trading Standards and the Police suspected that a large cache of tobacco was certainly near, they took a closer look at a dodgy looking light fitting – when it was removed they found an illegal stash of 15,300 cigarettes hidden in the ceiling.
Councillor Garry Perry, Portfolio Holder for Public Protection in Walsall said: “Well done Scamp and well done to all the Trading Standards and Police officers involved. Illegal tobacco is a scourge to our town and to society. As well as undermining law abiding businesses with cheap cigarettes, it’s often smuggled in to the country by organised crime gangs and is unregulated. Profits from it fund other criminal activities like human trafficking and drug smuggling. We want drive it out of the borough and shared intelligence from you helps us get the evidence we need to get these people into court and out of Walsall.”
Trading Standards investigations into this week’s raids and illegal cigarette sales are ongoing.
You can report the sale of illegal tobacco to Trading Standards anonymously. Call 03454 040506 or email email@example.com