Forty-thousand illegal cigarettes have been seized from a Boston home in what has been called ‘one of the biggest raids in recent years’ for Lincolnshire Trading Standards.
Officers initiated ‘Operation Mexico’ at the Fenside address yesterday alongside Lincolnshire Police.
In a single raid the authorities found foreign-labelled cigarettes hidden throughout the house.
One suspect was arrested at the scene and later released on bail.
Andy Wright, principle Trading Standards officer for Lincolnshire Trading Standards, said: “Local people had informed us that illicit cigarettes were being sold here on a large scale, with people visiting at all hours.
“That turned out to be true, as one person called round while we were searching the property! There were also security cameras fitted to the outside of the house.
“The items we found were all foreign-labelled, which means not tax has been paid on them, they don’t conform to UK safety standards and they could even be counterfeit.
“They were stashed away all over the house including down a sofa, radiators and even inside a boiler. We also found £4,000 in cash which we confiscated as we believe is a proceed of crime.
“We have acted today in the best interests of local residents and businesses.
“While some may think that illegal cigarettes are a cheaper way of smoking, the true cost is they have a greater chance of causing a fire than a normal cigarette, and there is no telling what could be in them.”
Illegal cigarettes have been found to contain asbestos, mould, insects, dirt, rodent droppings and even human excrement.
If you believe illegal, fake or duty free goods such as cigarettes, are being sold from a residential property, please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Lincolnshire County Council is yet to confirm where abouts in Fenside the raid took place.