Operation CeCe targets illicit tobacco sales

Operation CeCe targets illicit tobacco sales Image

Dundee City Council’s Trading Standards team, in collaboration with HMRC, have taken part in a national project to tackle the growing problem of illicit tobacco sales in corner shops.

This is an illegal trade that costs the Treasury an estimated £2 billion in lost revenue each year. Illicit tobacco/cigarettes include counterfeit and duty-evaded products.

An intelligence-led project targeted 24 local shops with 29% (7) being found to have illicit tobacco on the premises. Around 5,000 cigarettes and 2kg of hand rolling tobacco were discovered. Investigations are ongoing into these seizures.

The selling of illegal tobacco is not a victimless crime, with the supply of illegal tobacco putting the health of communities at risk by undermining public health and tax measures to drive down tobacco use.

Community Safety & Public Protection Committee Convener Christina Roberts, said “I commend our Trading Standards team for all their work in this area which helps to protect our city’s communities from the many harms from these practices.

“Local officers will continue to play a part in preventing illegal tobacco from damaging people’s health, strengthening efforts to reduce the number of people who smoke and stopping many legitimate, tax-paying businesses from being undersold.”

Should consumers wish to report instances of the sale of illicit tobacco then they can do so anonymously by calling Trading Standards on 0808 164 6000.

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