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Illegal tobacco hidden in wall and children’s mats

Southampton City Council’s Trading Standards, with help from the Police and Cooper, the sniffer dog, seized £10,000 worth of illegal tobacco at three shops in Shirley and Woolston last week.

Some of the tobacco was hidden in a stud wall, and, in Woolston, it was concealed within packs of children’s floor mats that had been hollowed out and bundled together.

This seizure adds to £10,000 worth of illegal tobacco seized last month and the same in March, as well as £13,000 worth seized in February.

Cllr Steven Galton, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “With police and community partners, we’re determined to stop the flow of illegal tobacco locally. I am very pleased with the effectiveness of our regular illegal tobacco enforcement actions this year, taking more than £43,000 in illicit goods from these traders. Buying illegal tobacco not only puts your health at increased risk, but also harms our local communities by encouraging more criminal behaviour.”

To complain about illegal tobacco traders anonymously, call the Stop Illegal Tobacco hotline on 0300 999 6 999.

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