£19K of illegal cigarettes could not have been seized without detection dog Yoyo
Officers from Herefordshire Council's Trading Standards and West Mercia Police worked in partnership with tobacco detection dogs from Pembrokeshire based B.W.Y Canine Ltd, to execute a search warrant at Europe Quality Food store on Brookend Street, Ross-on-Wye on Tuesday 23 April 2019.
On the shop premises a bag was found by tobacco detection dog Scamp with 134 packets of illegal cigarettes and 36 pouches of illegal hand rolling tobacco. In the car park opposite the shop, an associated vehicle contained 1761 packets of illegal cigarettes and 254 pouches of illegal hand rolling tobacco. This vehicle was identified by tobacco detection dog Yoyo and had it not been for Yoyo the hidden stash would have not been found.
The total seizure connected to Europe Quality Foods was 37,900 cigarettes and 14.5kg of hand rolling tobacco. All the tobacco products seized were non UK duty paid and a large proportion were counterfeit. The duty evasion from this seizure came to the value of £19,000.
An earlier targeted raid on Europe Quality Foods (5 January 2019) seized 31,000 illegal cigarettes. Following a history of persistent criminality at the premises, West Mercia Police immediately served a closure notice. At Hereford Magistrates’ Court yesterday (24 April 2019) the shop was ordered to stay closed pending a full court hearing on 7 May 2019 where court will have the power to issue a full three month closure order.