5,000 illegal cigarettes seized in raids on Boston shops

The hide where cigarettes were stored
The hide where cigarettes were stored

Police and trading standards officers have seized more than 5,000 illegal cigarettes and a quantity of non-duty paid beer and alcohol in raids in Boston.

Lincolnshire Trading Standards, in partnership with Lincolnshire Police, discovered the items at two shops in the town yesterday (Monday).

A haul of illegal cigarettes was uncovered in an elaborate, purpose-built, hidden compartment in a wall at Euro Express on West Street, while further illegal cigarettes and alcohol was seized from European Food & Wine Ltd on Red Lion Street.

The raids on Monday were part of a joint operation between Lincolnshire Trading Standards and Lincolnshire Police, who were following intelligence provided by members of the public.

Principal Trading Standards Officer Andy Wright said: "The Operation was part of our ongoing work to combat sales of illicit tobacco and alcohol from premises located across Lincolnshire.

"Increasingly we find traders using more elaborate ways of hiding goods with large quantities sometimes hidden in nearby premises and vehicles.

"We will continue to devote what resources we can to this work, but detailed information provided by members of the public makes a significant contribution to what we are able to achieve.

"Both of these premises were targeted thanks to intelligence provided by residents of Boston and the surrounding area.

"The success of the operation highlights just how important it is for people to come forward with information to help get these illegal and very often dangerous items off the streets.

"If you have any information you feel may be of assistance please contact Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111."