Illegal tobacco seized in Angus operation

Published on Monday 25 October 2021

Illegal tobacco worth the equivalent value of £4500 of legitimate product has been seized from retail premises in Angus as part of a joint operation involving Angus Council Trading Standards team and local Police Scotland officers.

Tobacco dog Boo

Spearheading the operation on Thursday (Oct 21) was Boo, a tobacco detection dog and her handler Bobby Cranie of Consumer Protection Dogs UK – specialists in the detection and recovery of illicit tobacco products.

A number of Angus business premises were visited in the intelligence-led operation.

Illicit and non-duty paid tobacco products were seized from premises and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.

Councillor Mark Salmond, Angus Council’s Communities and Finance Convener said: “By working closely with our partners at Police Scotland and, with the expertise of Consumer Protection Dogs and their handler, we are sending out a very clear message that the sale of illicit tobacco will not be tolerated.

“The illegal sale of tobacco products is taken very seriously by Trading Standards in Angus. while all smoking kills, illegal tobacco is a danger to health, particularly to children and young people as it can be sold at ‘pocket money’ prices making it easier for children to begin and develop a dangerous habit.”

Police Sergeant Andy Sheppard, Police Scotland, said: "We know that due to perceived higher profit margins criminals do turn to the illicit trade in tobacco which can in turn lead to other forms of criminality.

"We will continue to work closely with our partners to disrupt, detect and deter such criminality and would encourage anyone with information or concerns about illegal or counterfeit cigarettes or tobacco within the local community to contact Angus Council Trading Standards or police on 101.  Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111."

Pictured - Boo