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Police and Trading Standards seize over 133,000 illegal cigarettes in Chatham, Rochester and Strood

Police and council trading standards teams have seized a massive haul of illegal cigarettes.

Medway Council's Trading Standards Team and Kent Police seized 133,820 cigarettes and 7.6 kilos of hand rolling tobacco in raids carried out last week.

The stash was hidden in retail premises in Chatham, Rochester and Strood, in staircases, a loft and an upstairs room.

Some of the illegal cigarettes which were seized last week(13571819)
Some of the illegal cigarettes which were seized last week(13571819)

Two weeks ago, more than 82,000 illegal cigarettes were seized from a property in Chatham.

Sniffer dogs were used in both seizures. Investigations into the most recent haul are ongoing.

Cllr Jane Chitty (Con), Medway Council’s portfolio holder covering enforcement, said: “Illegal tobacco is a national issue and I would like to commend our Trading Standards team and Kent Police for all their hard work in stopping these products from being sold on our streets.

"Illegal tobacco products are extremely dangerous and can cause serious health problems.

"I would also like to thank residents for continuing to report shops selling illegal cigarettes to us. We will continue to take action against anyone found to be trading in illegal tobacco."

Cllr Jane Chitty. Picture: Andy Jones. (7917385)
Cllr Jane Chitty. Picture: Andy Jones. (7917385)

PC Simon Ince, from Kent Police’s Medway Community Safety Unit, said: "The continued success of these cigarette seizures is a testament to the close partnership work between Medway Council’s Trading Standards team and Kent Police.

“The efforts of the officers involved, across both organisations, has caused significant disruption to individuals looking to make money through the sale of illegal goods and is just one example of the close, partnership work, that goes on throughout the year.

“We will continue to work with the council to help reduce crime across the Medway towns.”

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