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Tens of thousands of illegal cigarettes have been seized from four traders in Newcastle.
David Ellerington, manager of Newcastle City Council trading standards, which led the operation, said: “These remarkable sniffer dogs have once again proven their worth by landing another blow to the illegal tobacco trade that blights the health of residents right across Tyneside.
“We know the sale of illicit cigarettes not only leads young people to become addicted, which has long term negative effects on their lives, but often has links to organised crime.
“And whether joined by our canine crimefighting companions or not we will never stop in our efforts to stop criminals flooding our streets with their unregulated products.
“Unlawful goods will never be acceptable in our communities, and we would urge anyone with information on the sale of illegal tobacco to anonymously report it to the Keep It Out campaign on 0300 999 0000 or at keep-it-out.co.uk.”