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Officers from KCC Trading Standards, Kent Police and HMRC carried out several raids in Thanet this morning (March 26) as part of a wide-scale crackdown on the supply of illicit tobacco on the isle.
At least 75 officers were involved in the operation led by Trading Standards. Warrants were simultaneously executed at three commercial premises, two residential addresses and two vehicles.
Premises included Northdown Road Grocery, the Al Madinah food store next door, in Northdown Road, and the International Eastern European convenience shop in Ramsgate High Street.
During the operation across the isle officers, with the support of specialist sniffer dogs from Pembrokeshire based B.W.Y Canine Ltd, seized 131,480 cigarettes (6,574 packs) and 352 packs of hand-rolling tobacco, with a total value £66,000. They also seized £22,000 cash, which is believed to be the proceeds of crime.