Illegally imported tobacco products with an estimated street value of approximately £27,609 have been seized in Knowsley.
On Friday 17 May, in a joint operation between Knowsley Council's Trading Standards, Merseyside Police and the Regional Illicit Tobacco Team, two raids were carried out on properties in Huyton and Stockbridge Village. The raids resulted in the seizure of a large quantity of suspected illegal cigarettes and tobacco.
As a result of the raids, two people were arrested and charged with offences relating to the unlawful sale of tobacco.
Thomas Martin Scamp, aged 55 years from Brandearth Hey in Stockbridge Village pleaded guilty at Liverpool Magistrates Court on Friday, 18 October. At the property, 174 packets of cigarettes with an estimated value of £609 were seized. He received a £100 fine and was ordered to pay £150 costs.
In addition, Raymond Davies, aged 69 years from Oxford Road in Huyton also pleaded guilty on 18 October at Liverpool Crown Court. At the property, 130,660 cigarettes and 27.9 kg of tobacco were seized with an estimated value of £27,000. He was sentenced to a two month curfew, between 7am and 7pm, and ordered to pay £150 costs
Councillor Andy Moorhead, Cabinet Member for Corporate and Customer Services said "The sale of illegal tobacco is a serious offence. Not only do these activities severely damage the local economy, but they are a real health risk as dealers often target children, making it easier for them to get hooked.
"These seizures are a firm reminder to anyone thinking of selling illegal tobacco that it will not be tolerated in Knowsley and we will continue to take robust action against anyone who flouts the law."
If you think someone is selling illegal tobacco, call Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.