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Counterfeit cigarettes seized in raid on Winlaton home

Box of counterfeit cigarettes

More than 5,000 illegal cigarettes were seized by Trading Standards in a raid on a home in Winlaton this week.

Police officers accompanied Trading Standards Officers from Gateshead Council in executing an entry warrant on a residential property in Blencathra Way after the council received an anonymous tip-off that sales of illegal tobacco were taking place there.

The raid enabled a search of the property to be carried out, during which 5,260 illegal Mayfair cigarettes were seized. The cigarettes are suspected of being fakes as they did not contain the proper health warnings and they had incorrect packaging.

More than £700 in cash suspected to be the proceeds of tobacco already sold was also seized under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.

Investigations are continuing. 

As well as the obvious health risks, illegal cigarettes have a much higher risk of starting domestic fires because they usually don't conform to international RIP (reduced ignition propensity) requirements.

Legal cigarettes are designed to go out if not actively smoked, but fake cigarettes continue to burn if left unattended and are therefore more likely to start a fire if accidentally dropped onto a mattress, upholstery or other combustible material.

Smoking is currently the single biggest cause of accidental fires in the home.

Box of counterfeit cigarettes
06 June 2019

More than 5,000 illegal cigarettes were seized by Trading Standards in a raid on a home in Winlaton this week.

Police officers accompanied Trading Standards Officers from Gateshead Council in executing an entry warrant on a residential property in Blencathra Way after the council received an anonymous tip-off that sales of illegal tobacco were taking place there.

The raid enabled a search of the property to be carried out, during which 5,260 illegal Mayfair cigarettes were seized. The cigarettes are suspected of being fakes as they did not contain the proper health warnings and they had incorrect packaging.

More than £700 in cash suspected to be the proceeds of tobacco already sold was also seized under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.

Investigations are continuing. 

As well as the obvious health risks, illegal cigarettes have a much higher risk of starting domestic fires because they usually don't conform to international RIP (reduced ignition propensity) requirements.

Legal cigarettes are designed to go out if not actively smoked, but fake cigarettes continue to burn if left unattended and are therefore more likely to start a fire if accidentally dropped onto a mattress, upholstery or other combustible material.

Smoking is currently the single biggest cause of accidental fires in the home.

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