Boston shop ordered to close after 'brilliant' detection dogs sniff out stash of illegal goods

A Boston shop has been ordered to close for three months after illegal items concealed in an electronically controlled hide were sniffed out by specialist detection dogs.

Specialist detection dogs helped find a hide in a ceiling at the shop in Boston.
Specialist detection dogs helped find a hide in a ceiling at the shop in Boston.

Lincoln Magistrates’ Court issued a closure order on EuroPlus, in West Street, Boston, on Monday (June 14), under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

This came after a visit was carried out at the address by Lincolnshire Police and Trading Standards.

During a search, 10,400 cigarettes, 3kg of hand rolling tobacco and 324 vapes were recovered.

Sgt Ian Cotton said: “In this shop, specialist detection dogs, courtesy of Stuart Phillips at BWY were used.

"One of the best noses in the business detected a hide in the ceiling of the premises, within which were illicit cigarettes. These hides are controlled electronically and installed at great expense.

“This should send a strong message, there is nowhere you can hide these illicit goods that cannot be detected by these brilliant animals. We will continue to work with our partners to close these shops as for as long as current legislation allows, offering a fair chance to the honest business owners of Boston.”

The closure order follows two others in Boston from last month.

The shops were were two of five in the town that had been recently targeted by Trading Standards and Lincolnshire Police in a crackdown against the sale of illegal cigarettes and alcohol.

Andy Wright, senior Trading Standards officer, said: “The response from the public to our initial shop closures two weeks ago was very encouraging. We requested the court to issue a closure order for the maximum period of three months. The court have had little hesitation in granting that request.”

He added: "The premises are all leased by tenants. Whilst the shops remain closed, we will work with landlords to ensure criminal activity does not continue once the premises re-opens. If that doesn’t happen, we will have little hesitation in asking for an extension to the closure.”

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