Massive counterfeit cig haul seized
More than 150,000 counterfeit cigarettes have been taken off the streets after raids on three premises in Dewsbury.
Police and trading standards officers discovered counterfeit packets of tobacco and cigarettes worth around £100,000 in a town centre basement.
Officers from Dewsbury and Mirfield Neighbourhood Policing Team and West Yorkshire Trading Standards officers carried out the raids last Friday following complaints about cheap tobacco products being sold.
Police named the businesses targeted as Global Groceries and neighbouring Top Shottaz snooker club in Bradford Road and Middle Eastern Mini Market in South Street.
Officers completed the searches but later returned to Global Groceries, where a hidden storage room in the basement was discovered.
Around 30 large boxes were found to contain 2,764 packs of hand rolling tobacco, suspected of being counterfeit and 9,000 packs of cigarettes containing 180,000 cigarettes.
Brands included Golden Virginia and Amber Leaf, Jin Ling, Viceroy, Pect and Malboro. Trading standards said Jin Ling cigarettes are a black market product illegal in the EU. They are made to look like the brand Camel.
Some of the haul is believed to be counterfeit, while some cigarettes have been imported illegally without UK duty being paid.
A 32-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of copyright and trademark offences. He was bailed as enquiries continue.
Suspected counterfeit items including Gucci handbags, ICE watches and Beats headphones by Dr Dre were also seized by officers on the day.
NPT Inspector Jenny Thompson said: “This day of action shows that we take the issue of counterfeiting goods seriously.
“By having a highly visible presence across the town we help to reassure residents that we mean business.
“If you are aware of any criminal activity in your area then please get in touch. If you tell us we will act.”
Coun Andrew Pinnock, of the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Committee, said: “Counterfeit goods undermine the economy by taking money and jobs away from legitimate traders. If you suspect someone of selling counterfeit goods then contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 040506.”