May 17, 2022 12.54 pm

Shop owner in Boston arrested as police seize £30k of illegal cigarettes

One of the hides was electronically operated

A man has been arrested and £30,000 of illicit tobacco and cigarettes were seized following a joint operation between Lincolnshire Police and Lincolnshire County Council.

A shop on Horncastle Road, Boston was searched, and illicit cigarettes and tobacco were found hidden in soft drinks cases.

The team went on to search another shop on Commercial Road, Spalding where two hides were located. One was behind the till, and one was in the floor and operated electronically using a key fob.

Some of the seized cigarette packs and tobacco pouches. | Photo: Lincolnshire Police

Andy Wright Principal Trading Standards Officer at Lincolnshire County Council said: “These are professional suppliers using convenience shops as a front to cover what is their main business: the sale of illegal cigarettes. They operate on a national basis with vast amounts of the money they make disappearing abroad.”

Sergeant Ian Cotton of Lincolnshire Police added: “These illicit cigarettes can be dangerous to health, and the profits can be used to fund other sorts of crimes such as people trafficking and modern slavery. We’ll continue to support Trading Standards in their efforts to clamp down on this illicit trade throughout our county.”

If you have any information on counterfeit goods being sold in our county, please call Lincolnshire Police directly on 101.

Or you can report anonymously through Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.