Trading Standards officers seized a large amount of illegal tobacco, in raids in Devon and Somerset last Friday, estimated to be worth more than £200,000.
Officers from the Heart of the South West Trading Standards Service, were supported by Avon & Somerset Police, Devon and Cornwall Police, the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit and HM Revenue and Customs.
The seizure is one of the largest of its kind by the service.
Using specialist detection dogs, officers executed five warrants. They raided two stores, a residential address and a storage container in Taunton, two business addresses in each of Exeter and Yeovil, and a business and residential premises in Tiverton. Two commercial vehicles were also searched.
A coordinated raid took place on a linked business premises in Northampton by Northamptonshire Trading Standards.
These recent operations means that the service, which is commissioned by Devon and Somerset county councils, Plymouth City Council and Torbay Council, has now seized illicit tobacco worth more than £310,000 across the service area during 2021 and 2022.