Police sniffer dogs uncover £100,000 of illegal cigarettes at shops in Dewsbury and Mirfield
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The goods were seized on Tuesday, February 6, and the Dewsbury and Mirfield Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) and West Yorkshire Trading Standards are continuing to investigate.
The cigarettes were found by police and officers from the Dewsbury Town Centre team in concealed locations – including a false wall and a false counter panel – across four stores.
Officers believe the goods are linked to organised crime groups operating in the area.
This year so far, four factories containing cannabis potentially worth £2m have been closed in Dewsbury, and more than £100,000 of concealed illegal tobacco was also seized in the town last October.
From those raids in October, contraband was found in locations including a hinged wall hidden behind a bathroom mirror and a concealed cupboard hidden behind a false fuse board.
Inspector Liz Lockwood, of the Dewsbury and Mirfield NPT, said: “The last few weeks have seen the NPT conduct a number of operations which have taken away significant amounts of profit from organised criminals.
“We believe cannabis recovered from the four factories closed down could be worth in excess of £2million, with the cigarettes and tobacco seized also valued at potentially in excess of £100,000.
“Cash from organised crime fuels drug dealing and county lines offending, which entraps young people, so it really is important we put these people out of business.
“I want to thank residents who have been giving us strong intelligence about this criminal activity and urge them to keep coming forwards.”
PC Adam Clarke, of the Dewsbury and Mirfield NPT, said: “It is well proven that money raised from illegal tobacco sales can be used to directly fund organised crime and we do believe that is the case here.
“These illegal products can also be more harmful to public health due to lack of regulation and testing and it is important we act to restrict their sales.
“All of the illegal items were seized by trading standards and will be destroyed.
"None of us want to see organised crime in our neighbourhoods and I encourage residents to keep contacting us with any information which can help us disrupt criminal activity and the sale of illegal goods.”