ILLEGAL cigarettes were seized from retailers after an illicit tobacco crackdown in Oldham.
The Oldham Central Police Department in Greater Manchester took to social media to highlight the work of the police in cracking down on illegal cigarette sales and shared a photo of some of the merchandise officers found.
A spokesperson for GMP Oldham Central said: “The GMP Oldham Central team has worked in partnership with Trading Standards to target illicit tobacco sold at outlets in the Oldham Central area.
“The operation was a success with the seizure of a quantity of tobacco.
Last month, Sunny News and Off License on Oxford Street had their liquor licenses revoked after the store sold illicit and counterfeit tobacco six times between April 2014 and February 2021.
In addition to selling counterfeit tobacco products, it was alleged that the store split the packs of cigarettes and sold them individually in addition to selling the products to customers under the age of 18.
A request for the store to lose its license to serve alcohol has been submitted by Oldham Council Trading Standards.
In September 2020, Trading Standards searched Timisoara, a mainland grocery store on Ashton Road, and found a “substantial amount of counterfeit and illicit tobacco”, with 22,557 cigarettes seized.
They were discovered “inside the store’s cellar, a tote behind the counter as well as concealed behind the counter in two jackets whose sleeves had been specially modified for this purpose”.
In October this year, a request for the store to be licensed to operate met with strong opposition from the Oldham Council Business Standards Department and the Greater Manchester Police Department, calling for the request be rejected.
In Tameside, an out-of-license with a history of selling hundreds of cans of nitrous oxide and illegal cigarettes was denied permission to sell alcohol.
Earlier this month, the Tameside licensing panel rejected an application from Acre Street Mini Market in Denton for a new premises license in Shabana Kousar’s name after councilors said they had “no confidence “that there would be no future incidents.
Illegal tobacco products are identifiable as they do not have the trademark issued to tobacco products that can be legally sold in the UK and the writing is not in English.
They also do not contain the standardized UK product packaging which includes warnings and images aimed at discouraging people from smoking and encouraging people to quit.