Illegal cigarettes seized after Eastbourne raid

A Trading Standards photograph of the seized cigarettes
A Trading Standards photograph of the seized cigarettes

Hundreds of boxes of illegal cigarettes worth more than £8,000 have been seized from a raid in Eastbourne.

The cigarettes were found during an investigation into sales at a convenience store in Brassey Parade in Hampden Park, where illegal tobacco had been sold.

A search was carried out by Sussex Police and East Sussex Trading Standards officials at an Eastbourne flat and the illegal goods were found piled high in a kitchen cupboard.

A 26-year-old man from Eastbourne was arrested under the Unfair Trading Regulations and questioned before being released on bail until August 27.

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said: “People who sell illegal cigarettes are not just avoiding paying the duty that is owed on them - illegal cigarettes which do not conform to safety standards regarding their content and toxin levels have an increased risk of harm to a smoker than that of normal cigarettes.

“The availability of these cheap, illegal cigarettes has a negative effect on local businesses and undermines the efforts of health professionals in their attempts to encourage people to stop smoking.

“Our enquiries are continuing and in the meantime we would like anyone who has information about the sale of illegal cigarettes in their area to contact them on 0345 60 80 197.”

PC Rachel Bourne, of Eastbourne neighbourhood policing team, added: “This is an excellent example of agencies working together to resolve what has been a growing problem in the Hampden Park community.

“I would urge anyone with any further information in relation to the selling of illegal tobacco to call Sussex Police on 101 quoting serial 324 of 9 July.”