An estimated half a million pounds of counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco were seized during a raid on shipping containers in Kidderminster.
The large storage units contained scores of boxes and bags of illegal products with an estimated retail value of half a million pounds which were removed by Trading Standards officers.
The raids were part of Operation CeCe, a National Trading Standards project to tackle the supply and sale of illegal tobacco, and were co-ordinated by Gloucestershire Trading Standards, who led the operation.
A team of tobacco dogs, which are national funded, identified one shipping container suspected to be involved in the distribution and sale of counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco which led to a second container being targeted.
Lisa Hornberger, the Wyre Forest Safer Neighbourhood Team Inspector, said: “This joint operation with Trading Standards was a big success, uncovering such a large amount of high value counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco following good intelligence work.
“These illegal products would have been destined for black market tobacco sales which are linked to organised crime groups so taking them off the streets has not only protected the public from these unregulated products but also disrupted a wider network of criminal activity that impacts our local communities.”
Sales of illegal tobacco and/or vapes can be reported directly to the Trading Standards South West team here