AN INVESTIGATION has been launched after a cache of illegal cigarettes and tobacco was allegedly found in a Bognor Regis shop.
The seizure was claimed to have taken place during a day of action by West Sussex County Council trading standards officers last Friday (March 6).
They were joined by trained sniffer dog Scamp on their visits to retail premises around the town. One was said to have uncovered 400 packets of illegal cigarettes and eight pouches of illegal tobacco.
David Barling, the county council’s cabinet member for residents’ services, said: “Cheap illicit tobacco is more readily available to those on low incomes, including young people, who are among the priority groups we are particularly keen to support to not start, or give up, smoking.
“We are sending a clear message to businesses that we will take robust action to remove illegal tobacco from the market place.”
The seized tobacco was claimed to be a mixture of counterfeit and other non-duty paid products which cannot legally be sold in the UK.
The day of action by trading standards was part of the county council’s support for No Smoking Day yesterday.
In a separate incident, Euro Express owner Akar Ali was convicted and sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, earlier this year and ordered to pay £3,572.04 in costs and an £80 victim surcharge for selling illegal cigarettes at his Canada Grove store. He was charged with 11 offences.