Dogs helps sniff out dodgy tobacco
Yoyo and Cooper are specially trained to help in the battle against counterfeit tobacco
Specially trained tobacco dogs were used by trading standards officers last week in their search for smuggled and fake tobacco products in Oxfordshire.
Detection dogs Yoyo (pictured) and Cooper helped Oxfordshire County Council’s officers target premises in Banbury, Oxford and Bicester, based on prior intelligence.
The visits resulted in nearly 6,000 illegal cigarettes being seized from a vehicle linked to one shop , many of which were suspected of being counterfeit. 21,000 grams of shisha tobacco was seized from another shop.
The initiative took place under Operation CeCe, a national trading standards campaign in partnership with HMRC, to tackle illegal tobacco.
Enquiries and investigations remain ongoing with the seized products being fully assessed for compliance.
Jody Kerman, Oxfordshire County Council’s Head of Trading Standards, said: “This was a successful operation and forms part of Oxfordshire County Council’s ongoing strategy to identify and disrupt the supply of illegal tobacco.
“Criminals dealing in illegal tobacco provide a cheap source of supply that can easily end up in the hands of young people whose developing lungs are particularly sensitive to the harm tobacco causes. It also encourages adults to carry on smoking, when giving up would dramatically improve their health and wealth.”
Information from the public is vital in helping to stamp out the supply of illegal tobacco. Reports can be made anonymously by calling 0300 999 6 999 or visit stop-illegal-tobacco.co.uk.
Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam