10,000 illegal cigarettes seized in raid on Boston shop

Around 10,000 illegal cigarettes were seized when Trading Standards officers raided a shop in Boston.

Some of the seized cigarettes at the shop
Some of the seized cigarettes at the shop

The raid, a joint operation with Lincolnshire Police, was in response to reports from residents and other businesses in the area.

It happened at a shop in West Street on 8 July, and the cigarettes were described as a mix of ‘counterfeit, unsafe and non-duty paid products’.

Andy Wright, from Lincolnshire Trading Standards, said: "The price gap between genuine and illicit cigarettes is getting smaller, and some of these products were being sold for almost the same price as legitimate cigarettes.

"But these fake and unsafe cigarettes bear little resemblance to the real deal, and if buyers only knew what their purchase money was actually used for they might not be quite so inclined to buy them.

"The sale of these products attracts other anti-social behaviour and criminality, and the proceeds can often fund organised crime and exploitation.

"Buyers also have no idea what is in these fake cigs. Lab tests on previously seized goods have found significantly higher levels of the most toxic elements in counterfeits, when compared to genuine cigarettes.

"As we've seen with this raid, reports from the public can really help us crack down on illegal cigarettes in Lincolnshire. If you have any information, let us know and help us stub it out."

Lincolnshire Police Inspector Fran Harrod said: "This is an excellent result assisted by our communities and addressing their concerns about this dangerous and illegal activity.

"We will continue to work in partnership with Trading Standards and others to ensure people are protected from harm in Boston. Your information to assist us is welcome, and as you can see, it will be acted upon."

Lincolnshire Trading Standards and Lincolnshire Police have pledged to continue to be committed to cracking down on counterfeit cigarettes in the county.

Anyone with any information, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report online at crimestoppers-uk.org.