News Alert: Trading Standards win award - 24 July 2017

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News Alert: Trading Standards Win Award 24 July 17

In this issue:

Coventry Trading Standards recognised at Anti-Counterfeiting Group Awards


Last year the Centsa (Central England Trading Standards Authorities) Region TS seized over 5.5 million illegal cigarettes and 645 kg of hand rolling tobacco. 

Coventry Trading Standards' contribution to this amount was over 1 million cigarettes and 170kg of hand rolling tobacco, the value of which would have been worth around £475,000 had they been genuine UK duty paid goods. These seized goods were either counterfeit or smuggled to avoid tax, so in terms of street value, the Coventry seizures would have been worth around £245,000.

In recognition of our work, the Anti-Counterfeiting Group awarded a Highly Commended Award to Coventry Trading Standards whilst an Officer received a Highly Commended Award for Individual Excellence in Anti-Counterfeiting Enforcement. Pictured is Allan Harwood - Trading Standards and Consumer Protection Manager - receiving the award on behalf of the team. 

Work in this area continues and only a few weeks ago (w/c 10 July), three major seizures totalling 502,000 cigarettes plus 93kg of loose leaf tobacco were made in Coventry. This equates to 25,100 packets of cigarettes and the amount of loose leaf tobacco is 10kg more than the weight of the average man in England!

In the first case, intelligence reports led Trading Standards to a storage unit on the outskirts of Coventry where officers came across a male who was at an open container. When approached he jumped into his van and sped off in such a hurry that three boxes of illegal tobacco fell from the van as the rear doors had not been closed.

On inspecting the contents of the container, a total of 13,510 packets of illegal tobacco products were found neatly stacked on shelves in cupboards.

The same day a warrant was executed on a private dwelling in the Upper Stoke area and 11,210 packets of illegal products were found under the stairs and in a bedroom.

The third seizure took place the following day from a vehicle after an intelligence report suggested that a car was being used to store illegal cigarettes and a ‘runner’ was being used who would collect packets to order and take them to a nearby shop.

The vehicle was watched and when a male got into the back of the vehicle he was approached but immediately ran away. Officers found 811 packets of illegal products in the boot.

All of the seized items that were found were either counterfeit or smuggled to avoid tax, so in terms of street value they would have been worth around £100,000. The loss to the organised crime group who are behind these illegal items would be around £50,000 – the cost to buy them and bring them into the country.

Each case is now subject to a criminal investigation.

Read the full Centsa press release.

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