City of Wolverhampton Council inspected its first residential property today after receiving reports of illegal sales of counterfeit tobacco.
The city council’s Trading Standards team carried out ‘operation gauntlet’ this morning (Thursday 22 February) after successfully obtaining a warrant to search a property based in Low Hill, Wolverhampton.
A shocking variety of fake and genuine cigarettes – which have avoided UK duty were found to being sold illegally at the property.
Along with West Midlands Police, a trademark expert and specialist search dogs, the team inspected the entire property to search for hidden tobacco.
An estimated £40,000 worth of fake goods were being stored in garden sheds, and bedrooms and the living room of the property.
Over 70,000 counterfeit cigarette and tobacco packets and were seized and taken for further examination.
Councillor Steve Evans, Cabinet Member for City Environment at City of Wolverhampton Council said: “”This is part of our ongoing operation to tackle the sale of illicit and counterfeit tobacco.
“Selling and supplying counterfeit tobacco is a serious crime that not only robs the public purse of much needed revenue, but also poses a real threat to public health.
“Today is a perfect example of the hard work that is being undertaken by our trading standards team and the fantastic work we do with sniffer dogs who play a vital role in our success.”
Council officers also contacted West Midlands Fire Service after finding a large quantity of fireworks stored in garden shed. Due to the resident not having a license to sell these products, the fireworks were also seized.