Half a million pounds of illegal cigarettes and tobacco seized in raid on shipping containers
An estimated half a million pounds of counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco were seized during a raid on shipping containers in Kidderminster.
Officers from Wyre Forest Safer Neighbourhood Team partnered with Worcestershire Trading Standards during the operation in the Foley Park area on Wednesday.
It was part of ongoing efforts to tackle serious and organised crime.
A team of tobacco dogs identified one shipping container suspected to be involved in the distribution and sale of counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco which led to a second container being targeted.
The large storage units contained scores of boxes and bags of illegal products with an estimated retail value of half a million pounds which were removed by trading standards officers.
Lisa Hornberger, the Wyre Forest safer neighbourhood team inspector, said: “This joint operation with trading standards was a big success, uncovering such a large amount of high value counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco following good intelligence work.
“These illegal products would have been destined for black market tobacco sales which are linked to organised crime groups so taking them off the streets has not only protected the public from these unregulated products but also disrupted a wider network of criminal activity that impacts our local communities.”
The raid forms part of Operation Target, which sees police work closely with other forces and organisations to tackle serious and organised crime.
Find out more about Operation Target by following #OpTarget on social media.