More than 35,000 illegal cigarettes and 50kg of illegal tobacco have been seized in a number of successful raids in Wigan Borough.
Sniffer dogs helped Wigan Council’s Trading Standards team to find the illicit tobacco in two local shops in Higher Ince and one residential property in Whelley in raids over the last two weeks.
The tobacco was concealed in hidden compartments in the shops.
Some of the products seized are suspected to be counterfeit and are now being further examined. Investigations are continuing.
Julie Middlehurst, group manager, regulatory services, said: “We are grateful to members of the public who gave us the information which enabled us to make these discoveries.
“We rely on this intelligence to help us stop illegal tobacco from being available on our streets.
“The illegal tobacco trade is a vile trade which makes it easier for children to access cigarettes smoking, takes advantage of cash-strapped families, and is unfair on law abiding local businesses.”
The team is encouraging any members of the public with information about the sale of illegal tobacco to contact them in confidence on 01942 827476 or firstname.lastname@example.org