Counterfeit cigarettes and alcohol seized during raids in Boston and other parts of Lincolnshire have been turned into electricity and fed into the National Grid.
Operations undertaken by Lincolnshire County Council’s Trading Standards in partnership with Lincolnshire Police have led to the discovery and seizure of around 30,000 cigarettes, 400 bottles of wine, and 3,000 cans of alcohol.
The goods, which were a combination of smuggled and counterfeit items, were last week taken to a special recycling centre where they weighed in at 2,440kg.
Emma Milligan, principal Trading Standards officer at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “This is really the end result of lots of operations and prosecutions that we have carried out in partnership with Lincolnshire Police.
“Tackling the sale of counterfeit and illegal cigarettes is a priority. Some cigarettes are extremely dangerous because they are not self-extinguishing.
“Many bottles of alcohol were seized for non-payment of duty, while others were seized because they were counterfeit or fake and potentially very dangerous. They can contain industrial alcohol which is unfit for human consumption.”
The haul of illegal goods has been gathered over a 12-month period following joint raids in Skegness, Boston, Lincoln, and Gainsborough by Trading Standards and Lincolnshire Police.
“The cigarettes and alcohol being destroyed this week has been seized in several operations involving Lincolnshire Trading Standards and Lincolnshire Police,” continued Miss Milligan. “With such potential dangers to the public, it’s vital that these products are taken off the streets. I’m glad we can put the cigarettes and alcohol to use in a productive way.”
Sgt Kimble Enderby, police licencing sergeant, said: “Hopefully, this will send out a clear message to members of the public that if they suspect anyone of this kind of crime we are able to act quickly and decisively to help bring these people to justice.
“It is so rewarding for our officers because much of the wine we have seized is dangerous and not fit for human consumption.”
Sgt Enderby added: “The work we are doing here is part of a bigger picture, because we know those involved in smuggling items or manufacturing counterfeit goods are often involved in other areas of organised crime.”
* If you suspect anyone of selling counterfeit goods, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
* For more about Lincolnshire Trading Standards, visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk