Slough Borough Council sniffer dog finds 1,000 packets of illegal cigarettes secretly hidden in toilet ceiling

Illegal cigarettes were snorted in a secret compartment in the ceiling of a store’s toilet during raids in Slough.

Detector dog Yoyo found 1,000 packages hidden in the roof of a toilet, as Slough Borough Council’s trade standards team scrambled to get counterfeit products off the streets.

Yoyo’s brilliant discovery followed similar good work by the spaniel and his canine companion, Cooper, during raids in Reading recently.

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In total, Commercial Standards visited six stores in the Borough of Slough.

Each had been highlighted as a potential concern for the sale of illegal tobacco.

Yoyo, who works with BWY Canine, was employed with a handler to sniff around stores, finding illegal sockets in half.

In addition to the 1,000 packages Yoyo found in the bathroom ceiling, the clever dog found 400 packages hidden in the other store.

Tobacco included illegal cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco and smokeless tobacco.

No duty would have been paid on any of the packages, which would be sold cheaply in stores.

Dean Cooke, the council’s senior business standards officer, said it was “vitally important” to carry out the inspections.

He added: “We thank the traders who always comply with the anti-smoking laws and we continue to support them by working to eliminate any unfair competition from companies who flout the law.

“Any information available on non-compliant companies is highly appreciated by Trading Standards, and please continue to report such contraventions.”

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Councilor Balvinder Bains, cabinet member responsible for regulation and public protection, said: “Selling cheap and potentially dangerous tobacco products is a mistake.

“Not only can they cause more problems for tobacco consumers, but these stores do not compete for a uniform market in the borough, which puts other law-abiding stores at a disadvantage.”

Files are being prepared by the council against the two stores where illegal products were found.

About Margaret Shaw

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