Dogs sniff out huge fake tobacco haul in Cannock Chase

Yoyo the tobacco sniffer dog with the fake tobacco he found

Thousands of fake and illegal cigarettes have been seized in a raid at a shop in Cannock Chase.

A total of 17,120 cigarettes and 10.35kg of rolling tobacco were found hidden at the shop in Rugeley town centre. All are believed to be fake or illegal.

Staffordshire County Council’s trading standards team was joined by tobacco detection dogs which uncovered hidden compartments in a shop store room.

A concealed shelf behind a cupboard contained American Legend cigarettes, which are thought to be illegally imported, as well as cartons of Mayfair, Richmond and Marlborough Red, all believed to be counterfeit. Fake tobacco and cigarettes were also found hidden in a nearby vehicle.

Staffordshire County Council’s communities leader, councillor Gill Heath, said: “Our ongoing operation against illicit tobacco continues and this is an example of how an intelligence-led response is seeing successes.

"The team has disrupted the supply of potentially dangerous tobacco and cigarettes which could have harmed people in Staffordshire. We won’t tolerate deliberate offending like this.

"The operation is funded by the Government and as such as enabled us to benefit from the use of the tobacco detection dogs.

"Without the dogs, the team may well have searched the shop and left within 20 minutes. There is no way the concealed compartment, or the tobacco hidden in the vehicle, would have been found.”


About the author

Stuart Phillips

Stuart Phillips is a multi award-winning detection dog handler, trainer and instructor. In 2009 Stuart formed B.W.Y Canine Ltd, who now provide trained and untrained detection dogs, training and consultancy services to clients in the UK and internationally. 

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