Kent tobacco dealers targeted

Thousands of illegal cigarettes have been seized in Kent, thanks to specialist tobacco search dogs from Wales based B.W.Y Canine Ltd. During the two day operation in Dover and Margate, one person was arrested and tobacco, mobile phones and a car was seized. The multi-agency operation was part of the national Operation CeCe crackdown on illegal tobacco supply and distribution. 

Working in partnership with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the operation targeted raids on several retail premises, domestic dwellings and vehicles thought to be associated in there supply and distribution of illegal tobacco. 

The operation was supported by specialist search dogs Cooper, Yoyo, Maggie and Jasper from Pembrokeshire based B.W.Y Canine Ltd. Without the assistance from the search dogs officers would have been unable to locate large quantities of the illegal tobacco seized, due to the sophisticated concealments constructed to hide the illegal tobacco and hand rolling tobacco. 

Four retail premises, 2 domestic dwellings and a number of vehicles were searched by the dogs which were handled by multi-award winning dog trainer Stuart Phillips. In total 15.400 cigarettes and 10Kg of hand rolling tobacco were recovered during the two day operation. 

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Frequently the cash raised from selling illicit tobacco will be used to fund organised criminal groups as they carry out other illegal activities.

“Our officers have a good local knowledge of the communities they patrol and will regularly work with other agencies to gather information and identify offenders in order to deal with this issue robustly.

Inspector Paul Burrell, Dover Community Safety Unit

The sale of illicit tobacco brings organised crime into communities and undermines local legitimate businesses. It also makes smoking more affordable for young people and those attempting to quit.

We will work with our enforcement partners using all available tactics to disrupt this activity and protect the safety and rights of the residents and businesses of Kent.

Shops selling illegal tobacco can be reported anonymously through 0300 999 6 999 or by visiting

Clive Phillips, Operations Manager for Kent County Council Trading Standards

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BWY Canine

Formed in 2009, B.W.Y CANINE is a leading supplier of specialist detection dogs for UK and international clients. B.W.Y CANINE provides a range of sniffer dog services to a very diverse range of clients for detecting Drugs, Explosives, Firearms and Counterfeit Tobacco. Our clients include Police Services, Trading Standards, Private Companies, NHS Trusts, Oil Refineries and the 3rd largest Port Authority in the UK.

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