A corner shop was found with 25,000 illegal cigarettes, tobacco packs and e-cigarettes containing “potentially hazardous chemicals”.
On Friday 9 May Merseyside Police and Knowsley Council’s Trading Standards team raided the Village News corner shop in Glovers Brow in Kirkby. When they searched the newsagents, they found 25,000 cigarettes, 230 packs of tobacco and 44 e-cigarettes.
A 41-year-old man was found to be in possession of a small amount of cannabis and was dealt with by municipal decision.
READ MORE: ‘Devastation’ as ‘bubbly and lovable’ mum found dead at her home
The sizeable tobacco seizure was part of the Knowsley Policing Team’s day of action, during which officers also conducted open land searches and filed letters in the community.
Knowsley Community Police Inspector David Morgan said: “Illegal products such as those we seized on Friday can harm public health as the chemicals added to these products are not monitored or licensed in any way. They could expose consumers to potentially dangerous chemicals, and we’re glad we helped phase them out.
“I hope our ongoing trade standards work demonstrates the steps we will take to remove all counterfeit goods from our stores and community. Whenever we receive information about illegal goods, we work closely with our partners to investigate and take appropriate action.
“Our activities should send a clear message to criminals that we will stop at nothing to address this issue and that it is a priority that we will continue to fight. Trafficking in counterfeit goods is not a victimless crime.
“Often criminals use the profits to fund other organized crime activities and this often results in violence that can have a devastating impact on our communities in Kirkby and across Merseyside. I would appeal to anyone who knows anyone involved in the sale of illegal tobacco or counterfeit goods to get in touch so we can safely remove these products from our streets.”
A Knowsley Council spokesman said: “Thanks to important community intelligence, our Crime and Communities and Trade Standards team has worked with Merseyside Police to take strong action against those involved in the sale of counterfeit goods. These goods have not undergone rigorous testing and are therefore considered an unregulated product that does not meet minimum safety and quality standards and poses serious risks to our communities. So it’s really important that we remove them for sale or consumption.
“We are asking anyone who has seen or bought a product that they believe is counterfeit to contact the national Citizens Advice Consumer Service (CACS) on 03454 04 05 06 or alternatively our Trade Standards team call 0151 489 6000. ”
Anyone with knowledge of any businesses involved are asked to contact the Merseyside Police Social Media Desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police CC. You can also call the independent charity Crimestoppers or contact them anonymously on 0800 555 111.