A large quantity of illegal cigarettes and tobacco have been discovered following raids in Calderdale.
The activity was conducted by officers from the Trading Standards Illegal Tobacco Team and discovered over 31,000 illegal cigarette sticks and 9kg of illegal hand rolling tobacco items.
The raids were carried out as part of the ‘Keep it Out’ campaign, which aims to reduce supply and demand for illegal tobacco in Calderdale and across West Yorkshire, including stopping dealers who sell to children.
The illegal items, which included suspected counterfeit and non-duty paid products which cannot be legally sold in the UK, were seized during inspection visits at retail outlets in Halifax and Todmorden.
David Lodge, Head of West Yorkshire Trading Standards, said: “Those involved in dealing in illegal tobacco may be encouraging people, including children, to smoke by providing a cheap source.
“We, along with partners such as HM Revenue and Customs and local authorities including Calderdale Council, have been working to cut the supply of and demand for cheap illegal tobacco.”
Councillor Alison Miles, deputy chair of the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Committee, added: “Calderdale Council is determined to identify and bring to justice those who are involved in this trade.
“Offenders need to know that they will face consequences if they choose to deal in illegal tobacco.”
”Its low price and easy availability encourages people to keep smoking, and children and young people are often targeted by unscrupulous traders.
“This enforcement action is therefore welcomed.”