Contraband cigarettes and alcohol seized in Eastbourne shop raids

Sniffer dog with cigarettes and alcohol seized in raids
Sniffer dog with cigarettes and alcohol seized in raids

Illicit tobacco and alcohol has been seized by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) during raids on shops in Eastbourne.

Officers from HMRC, Sussex Police, Sussex Trading Standards and Immigration raided 19 convenience stores in Eastbourne, Hastings and St Leonards yesterday (Thursday, May 29) and seized 8,500 cigarettes, 8 kilos of hand rolling tobacco, kilos of Shisha tobacco, two kilos of cigar wrappings, 150 crates of beer and 70 boxes of wine.

The operation was supported by a tobacco sniffer dog who identified two concealments containing illicit cigarettes.

Jennie Kendall spokesperson for, HMRC, said, “HMRC will not tolerate traders found dealing in illicit tobacco and alcohol.

“This illicit trade is at the expense of legitimate traders and UK taxpayers.

“We are keen to work closely with local businesses and communities in the fight against this type of crime and urge anyone who has information about the sale, storage or transport of illicit tobacco to call the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”

The revenue loss on the haul is around £8,000.

Investigations are ongoing.