One million illegal cigarettes seized in Lincoln

More than a million counterfeit cigarettes, 71 kilograms of tobacco and around one kilogram of cannabis were seized in a Lincoln raid.

Dubbed as the biggest ever illegal goods raid in the county, officers discovered the stash in storage containers.

Officers raided containers at Anglia Self Storage on Great Northern Terrace on Monday, November 19 when they made the discovery.

It is believed the illegal cigarettes alone had a street value of close to £250,000 and were going to be sold in Lincoln.

Andy Wright, principal Trading Standards officer, said: “This is the biggest seizure of counterfeit or illicit cigarettes ever made in Lincolnshire. The quantities are huge.

“We are conducting investigations and will instigate criminal proceedings where appropriate.

“Our initial enquiries suggest the storage is linked to only two individuals and a handful of shops on High Street and Portland Street in Lincoln.

“People in Lincolnshire have died as a consequence of house fires caused by these types of cigarettes.”

Officers made the discovery in a container.

Sergeant Kim Enderby, alcohol licensing manager at Lincolnshire Police, said: “This was another example of a really successful piece of partnership working between Trading Standards and Lincolnshire Police’s Alcohol Licensing Team.

“The seizure of this quantity of cigarettes is sure to have a real effect on the criminals involved in the distribution and sale of these items.

“We also seized nearly a kilo of cannabis, which clearly demonstrates that the individuals involved in the trade of illegal cigarettes are also involved in other criminal activity.”

Anyone with information about illegal goods is being urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.