More than 2000 cigarettes and close to 100 bottles of alcohol have been seized across Tower Hamlets in a bid to clampdown on the trading of illegally imported goods.
The Metropolitan Police seized the alcohol, 2160 cigarettes and 300g of rolling tobacco in two shops. The seizure was done in collaboration with Trading Standards officers and HMRC.
The Trading Standards officers used detection dogs to find the illegal tobacco, which had been smuggled from Hungary, the Czech Republic, Russia and Bangladesh.
John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “We hope these latest successful initiatives will act as a deterrent to those who feel they can operate above the law.”
The seizures took place following the ongoing Operation Henry, which is being run by the Chartered Trading Standards Institutes (CTSI).
Operation Henry, which is developed by the Department of Health, intends to enhance effective tobacco control across the U.K.
Richard Las, deputy director of the Fraud Investigation Service at HMRC, said: “HMRC works closely with other enforcement agencies to crack down on illicit tobacco in the UK.”
The largest single seizure so far in Operation Henry occurred in a self-storage facility in London where 1.4 million cigarettes were detected, despite the city having the lowest seizure rate.