Ice cream van raided for bootleg cigarettes in crackdown on illegal traders

picture of ice cream by distillated from Flickr, modified by The Argus

picture of ice cream by distillated from Flickr, modified by The Argus

First published in News
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AN ICE cream van was raided for bootleg cigarettes as part of a countywide crackdown on the illegal tobacco trade.

Thousands of illegal cigarettes and hundreds of bottles wine have been seized during raids on shops across the county.

Approximately £21,660 worth of illicit product was seized by officers from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Sussex Police, Sussex Trading Standards and Immigration services during raids using sniffer dogs.

West Sussex County Council Trading Standards revealed they had carried out raids on five shops and the ice cream van in their war on the illegal traders.

Officers found cigarettes stacked on shelves in empty cereal boxes and hidden in secret compartments beneath the floor, behind an electrical socket and behind a false wall.

In total, 2,068 packets of cigarettes and almost 500 pouches of tobacco were seized - carrying the street value of £13,660.Testing showed some of the cigarettes were potentially dangerous as they did not self-extinguish.

Officers from trading standards, HMRC and the police raided 19 convenience stores in Eastbourne, Hastings and St Leonards on Sunday May 25.

More than 8,500 cigarettes, eight kilos of hand rolling tobacco, eight kilos of Shisha tobacco, two kilos of cigar wrappings, 150 crates of beer and 70 boxes of wine were all seized - Lionel Barnard, West Sussex County Council's cabinet member with responsibility for trading standards, said: “Offenders need to know that they will face consequences if they choose to deal in illegal tobacco.

“We're standing up for legitimate local traders whose businesses are being damaged by these shops and traders selling illicit tobacco cheaply and consumers who face increased risks from counterfeit goods which are not checked or regulated.”

HMRC spokeswoman Jennie Kendall 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.”

Rupert Simmons, East Sussex County Council lead member for economy, said: “Contrary to what some people may think, selling illegal cigarettes is not a victimless crime.

“It undermines the great efforts being made to protect people from the dangers of smoking, by offering tobacco at pocket money prices.

“People who sell these products make it easier for people to take up smoking and become addicted, while profits from illegal tobacco sales may help to fund organised crime.”

Anyone with information about the sale of illegal tobacco can report it to Trading Standards services or call Crimestoppers on 08454 04 05 06.

Comments (17)

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6:34am Mon 2 Jun 14

qm says...

While the authorities should be commended for preventing greedy miscreants for peddling poison they should at least stick to the truth to retain credibility!

"Testing showed some of the cigarettes were potentially dangerous as they did not self-extinguish."

Most if not all 'manufactured' cigarettes will burn unattended due to the amount of saltpetre impregnated into the paper and are the cause of many fires for this very reason. Most but not all papers used in hand-rolling cigarettes will self extinguish if left in an ashtray.

In the 70s, I used to know a chap who went through 80 a day but reckoned he only smoked around 20. No guessing for the motive then is there?
While the authorities should be commended for preventing greedy miscreants for peddling poison they should at least stick to the truth to retain credibility! "Testing showed some of the cigarettes were potentially dangerous as they did not self-extinguish." Most if not all 'manufactured' cigarettes will burn unattended due to the amount of saltpetre impregnated into the paper and are the cause of many fires for this very reason. Most but not all papers used in hand-rolling cigarettes will self extinguish if left in an ashtray. In the 70s, I used to know a chap who went through 80 a day but reckoned he only smoked around 20. No guessing for the motive then is there? qm
  • Score: 4

8:08am Mon 2 Jun 14

John Steed says...

what Red Faced WSCC & Worthing tradibg standards & police are trying to deal with is one property that the license was removed from last year, due to numerous continued breaches. The owners simply changed some "Leases & names" and carried on unabated, not only that it changed the shop name and added bigger fascia signs promoting bargain booze. two weeks ago a large amount of material was removed by police from a shop being used as storage just along the road including laptops phones and other electronic items. and it is well known than many of these types of shops sell these types of items and buy from any person offering to sell so the criminal activity can be two way trading. currently it has had the shutters down for a week or so, maybe the authorities have succeded but at what cost, I doubt if VAT, NI or any other statuary payments were ever made, The bottom line is that these types of shop cheat everybody, How much longer is UK plc remain a soft touch for every chancer from outside of europe to come along and take advantage.
what Red Faced WSCC & Worthing tradibg standards & police are trying to deal with is one property that the license was removed from last year, due to numerous continued breaches. The owners simply changed some "Leases & names" and carried on unabated, not only that it changed the shop name and added bigger fascia signs promoting bargain booze. two weeks ago a large amount of material was removed by police from a shop being used as storage just along the road including laptops phones and other electronic items. and it is well known than many of these types of shops sell these types of items and buy from any person offering to sell so the criminal activity can be two way trading. currently it has had the shutters down for a week or so, maybe the authorities have succeded but at what cost, I doubt if VAT, NI or any other statuary payments were ever made, The bottom line is that these types of shop cheat everybody, How much longer is UK plc remain a soft touch for every chancer from outside of europe to come along and take advantage. John Steed
  • Score: 5

8:42am Mon 2 Jun 14

Rhodes Seagull says...

Sorry but it makes me laugh when I see that it is on bootleg cigarettes.
They have been selling cigarettes in UK shops and supermarkets for years with the blessing of the Governments TAX at bootleg prices.
I am a none smoker but I hear that 20 cigarettes costs over £5 in the UK and the same pack in for Example Spain cost £3:90p.
One reason Mr Cameron does not want to be a full member of the EU is the revenue the Government would loose when they would have to come into line on prices for Alcohol and Cigarettes etc .
Sorry but it makes me laugh when I see that it is on bootleg cigarettes. They have been selling cigarettes in UK shops and supermarkets for years with the blessing of the Governments TAX at bootleg prices. I am a none smoker but I hear that 20 cigarettes costs over £5 in the UK and the same pack in for Example Spain cost £3:90p. One reason Mr Cameron does not want to be a full member of the EU is the revenue the Government would loose when they would have to come into line on prices for Alcohol and Cigarettes etc . Rhodes Seagull
  • Score: 1

11:49am Mon 2 Jun 14

John Steed says...

Rhodes Seagull you are sadly uniformed in this subject. The EU made all member states raise taxes as part of its drive for better public health, UK just gold plated the increase. currently B & H cost over £8.00 , smuggled are on the street at £5.50, fake cigarettes significantly lower, east europeans who are used to low grade tobaccos are huge smokers of illegal/couterfeit products. so are the asians who predominately are a source of these products. the revenue from legal tobacco products is far below the ever increasing health needs of smokers. HMRC by use of xray just before baggae reclaim have made usefull inroads into the spanish connection, it used to pay at least the travel if not the holiday, now a couple of hundred kingsize and a couple of kilos of loose hardly pay the air fare one way
Rhodes Seagull you are sadly uniformed in this subject. The EU made all member states raise taxes as part of its drive for better public health, UK just gold plated the increase. currently B & H cost over £8.00 , smuggled are on the street at £5.50, fake cigarettes significantly lower, east europeans who are used to low grade tobaccos are huge smokers of illegal/couterfeit products. so are the asians who predominately are a source of these products. the revenue from legal tobacco products is far below the ever increasing health needs of smokers. HMRC by use of xray just before baggae reclaim have made usefull inroads into the spanish connection, it used to pay at least the travel if not the holiday, now a couple of hundred kingsize and a couple of kilos of loose hardly pay the air fare one way John Steed
  • Score: 1

12:15pm Mon 2 Jun 14

ZeeGee, ffs says...

It just shows that smokers are so desperate, they'll smoke any old cr*p.
It just shows that smokers are so desperate, they'll smoke any old cr*p. ZeeGee, ffs
  • Score: -2

1:18pm Mon 2 Jun 14

Klanker says...

Apparently the ice cream photo has been "modified by The Argus" but I can't see where or how.

Only joking, the worst bit of photoshopping I've seen in a while.
Apparently the ice cream photo has been "modified by The Argus" but I can't see where or how. Only joking, the worst bit of photoshopping I've seen in a while. Klanker
  • Score: 2

2:31pm Mon 2 Jun 14

Reading fan in Brighton says...

John Steed wrote:
Rhodes Seagull you are sadly uniformed in this subject. The EU made all member states raise taxes as part of its drive for better public health, UK just gold plated the increase. currently B & H cost over £8.00 , smuggled are on the street at £5.50, fake cigarettes significantly lower, east europeans who are used to low grade tobaccos are huge smokers of illegal/couterfeit products. so are the asians who predominately are a source of these products. the revenue from legal tobacco products is far below the ever increasing health needs of smokers. HMRC by use of xray just before baggae reclaim have made usefull inroads into the spanish connection, it used to pay at least the travel if not the holiday, now a couple of hundred kingsize and a couple of kilos of loose hardly pay the air fare one way
John Steed, it is you who is sadly uninformed on this subject! You can bring back an unlimited amount of cigarettes back from Spain duty paid. I brought back 3,000 B&H last week in my hand luggage, Spanish price £3.20, English price £8.00+! This more than pays for the holiday, crazy! I am happy to support the ailing Spanish economy over the pure greed of the English Treasury who have hugely inflated the cost of cigarettes in the guise of health when we all know it is purely revenue raising - pure greed!
[quote][p][bold]John Steed[/bold] wrote: Rhodes Seagull you are sadly uniformed in this subject. The EU made all member states raise taxes as part of its drive for better public health, UK just gold plated the increase. currently B & H cost over £8.00 , smuggled are on the street at £5.50, fake cigarettes significantly lower, east europeans who are used to low grade tobaccos are huge smokers of illegal/couterfeit products. so are the asians who predominately are a source of these products. the revenue from legal tobacco products is far below the ever increasing health needs of smokers. HMRC by use of xray just before baggae reclaim have made usefull inroads into the spanish connection, it used to pay at least the travel if not the holiday, now a couple of hundred kingsize and a couple of kilos of loose hardly pay the air fare one way[/p][/quote]John Steed, it is you who is sadly uninformed on this subject! You can bring back an unlimited amount of cigarettes back from Spain duty paid. I brought back 3,000 B&H last week in my hand luggage, Spanish price £3.20, English price £8.00+! This more than pays for the holiday, crazy! I am happy to support the ailing Spanish economy over the pure greed of the English Treasury who have hugely inflated the cost of cigarettes in the guise of health when we all know it is purely revenue raising - pure greed! Reading fan in Brighton
  • Score: 4

3:56pm Mon 2 Jun 14

Mr chock says...

Reading fan in Brighton wrote:
John Steed wrote:
Rhodes Seagull you are sadly uniformed in this subject. The EU made all member states raise taxes as part of its drive for better public health, UK just gold plated the increase. currently B & H cost over £8.00 , smuggled are on the street at £5.50, fake cigarettes significantly lower, east europeans who are used to low grade tobaccos are huge smokers of illegal/couterfeit products. so are the asians who predominately are a source of these products. the revenue from legal tobacco products is far below the ever increasing health needs of smokers. HMRC by use of xray just before baggae reclaim have made usefull inroads into the spanish connection, it used to pay at least the travel if not the holiday, now a couple of hundred kingsize and a couple of kilos of loose hardly pay the air fare one way
John Steed, it is you who is sadly uninformed on this subject! You can bring back an unlimited amount of cigarettes back from Spain duty paid. I brought back 3,000 B&H last week in my hand luggage, Spanish price £3.20, English price £8.00+! This more than pays for the holiday, crazy! I am happy to support the ailing Spanish economy over the pure greed of the English Treasury who have hugely inflated the cost of cigarettes in the guise of health when we all know it is purely revenue raising - pure greed!
wow congratulations on you.. will you also go to spain if you develop cancer ? .. only joking you know a good deal ..
lovely photo i wonder why the argus did that its given me a craving for Ice cream and cig's ....
[quote][p][bold]Reading fan in Brighton[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]John Steed[/bold] wrote: Rhodes Seagull you are sadly uniformed in this subject. The EU made all member states raise taxes as part of its drive for better public health, UK just gold plated the increase. currently B & H cost over £8.00 , smuggled are on the street at £5.50, fake cigarettes significantly lower, east europeans who are used to low grade tobaccos are huge smokers of illegal/couterfeit products. so are the asians who predominately are a source of these products. the revenue from legal tobacco products is far below the ever increasing health needs of smokers. HMRC by use of xray just before baggae reclaim have made usefull inroads into the spanish connection, it used to pay at least the travel if not the holiday, now a couple of hundred kingsize and a couple of kilos of loose hardly pay the air fare one way[/p][/quote]John Steed, it is you who is sadly uninformed on this subject! You can bring back an unlimited amount of cigarettes back from Spain duty paid. I brought back 3,000 B&H last week in my hand luggage, Spanish price £3.20, English price £8.00+! This more than pays for the holiday, crazy! I am happy to support the ailing Spanish economy over the pure greed of the English Treasury who have hugely inflated the cost of cigarettes in the guise of health when we all know it is purely revenue raising - pure greed![/p][/quote]wow congratulations on you.. will you also go to spain if you develop cancer ? .. only joking you know a good deal .. lovely photo i wonder why the argus did that its given me a craving for Ice cream and cig's .... Mr chock
  • Score: -2

4:52pm Mon 2 Jun 14

Old Ladys Gin says...

'Will that be a 99 or a tenth sir?'
'Will that be a 99 or a tenth sir?' Old Ladys Gin
  • Score: 0

5:05pm Mon 2 Jun 14

BURIRAM says...

Nineteen shops raided and one ice cream van from Crawley and the ice cream van gets the headlines,
Nineteen shops raided and one ice cream van from Crawley and the ice cream van gets the headlines, BURIRAM
  • Score: 2

6:45pm Mon 2 Jun 14

clubrob6 says...

John Steed wrote:
what Red Faced WSCC & Worthing tradibg standards & police are trying to deal with is one property that the license was removed from last year, due to numerous continued breaches. The owners simply changed some "Leases & names" and carried on unabated, not only that it changed the shop name and added bigger fascia signs promoting bargain booze. two weeks ago a large amount of material was removed by police from a shop being used as storage just along the road including laptops phones and other electronic items. and it is well known than many of these types of shops sell these types of items and buy from any person offering to sell so the criminal activity can be two way trading. currently it has had the shutters down for a week or so, maybe the authorities have succeded but at what cost, I doubt if VAT, NI or any other statuary payments were ever made, The bottom line is that these types of shop cheat everybody, How much longer is UK plc remain a soft touch for every chancer from outside of europe to come along and take advantage.
How do you think they manage to stay open 24hrs a day ?I think any shop that is which there are many in Brighton and Hove they should check there books.You don't see English people work in them i bet they turn a blind eye to VAT etc.
[quote][p][bold]John Steed[/bold] wrote: what Red Faced WSCC & Worthing tradibg standards & police are trying to deal with is one property that the license was removed from last year, due to numerous continued breaches. The owners simply changed some "Leases & names" and carried on unabated, not only that it changed the shop name and added bigger fascia signs promoting bargain booze. two weeks ago a large amount of material was removed by police from a shop being used as storage just along the road including laptops phones and other electronic items. and it is well known than many of these types of shops sell these types of items and buy from any person offering to sell so the criminal activity can be two way trading. currently it has had the shutters down for a week or so, maybe the authorities have succeded but at what cost, I doubt if VAT, NI or any other statuary payments were ever made, The bottom line is that these types of shop cheat everybody, How much longer is UK plc remain a soft touch for every chancer from outside of europe to come along and take advantage.[/p][/quote]How do you think they manage to stay open 24hrs a day ?I think any shop that is which there are many in Brighton and Hove they should check there books.You don't see English people work in them i bet they turn a blind eye to VAT etc. clubrob6
  • Score: 1

6:52pm Mon 2 Jun 14

clubrob6 says...

ZeeGee, ffs wrote:
It just shows that smokers are so desperate, they'll smoke any old cr*p.
Its same with spirits too some of these shops sell poison i'm not sure what its like now as i buy my booze from supermarkets rather than these 24 hr corner shops.They could sell any old poison to late night drinkers .
[quote][p][bold]ZeeGee, ffs[/bold] wrote: It just shows that smokers are so desperate, they'll smoke any old cr*p.[/p][/quote]Its same with spirits too some of these shops sell poison i'm not sure what its like now as i buy my booze from supermarkets rather than these 24 hr corner shops.They could sell any old poison to late night drinkers . clubrob6
  • Score: 0

8:02pm Mon 2 Jun 14

ZeeGee, ffs says...

" I brought back 3,000 B&H last week in my hand luggage, Spanish price £3.20, English price £8.00+! This more than pays for the holiday, crazy! "

And how much for the mouthwash, or don't you care how badly you smell?
" I brought back 3,000 B&H last week in my hand luggage, Spanish price £3.20, English price £8.00+! This more than pays for the holiday, crazy! " And how much for the mouthwash, or don't you care how badly you smell? ZeeGee, ffs
  • Score: -3

9:24am Tue 3 Jun 14

BURIRAM says...

ZeeGee, ffs wrote:
" I brought back 3,000 B&H last week in my hand luggage, Spanish price £3.20, English price £8.00+! This more than pays for the holiday, crazy! "

And how much for the mouthwash, or don't you care how badly you smell?
Should have gone to Thailand only 80p a pack
[quote][p][bold]ZeeGee, ffs[/bold] wrote: " I brought back 3,000 B&H last week in my hand luggage, Spanish price £3.20, English price £8.00+! This more than pays for the holiday, crazy! " And how much for the mouthwash, or don't you care how badly you smell?[/p][/quote]Should have gone to Thailand only 80p a pack BURIRAM
  • Score: 0

1:37pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Reading fan in Brighton says...

BURIRAM wrote:
ZeeGee, ffs wrote:
" I brought back 3,000 B&H last week in my hand luggage, Spanish price £3.20, English price £8.00+! This more than pays for the holiday, crazy! "

And how much for the mouthwash, or don't you care how badly you smell?
Should have gone to Thailand only 80p a pack
You can only bring back 200 from Thailand - it's only certain countries in the EU where you can bring back an unlimited amount duty paid!
[quote][p][bold]BURIRAM[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ZeeGee, ffs[/bold] wrote: " I brought back 3,000 B&H last week in my hand luggage, Spanish price £3.20, English price £8.00+! This more than pays for the holiday, crazy! " And how much for the mouthwash, or don't you care how badly you smell?[/p][/quote]Should have gone to Thailand only 80p a pack[/p][/quote]You can only bring back 200 from Thailand - it's only certain countries in the EU where you can bring back an unlimited amount duty paid! Reading fan in Brighton
  • Score: 1

12:28pm Sat 7 Jun 14

joggaju says...

http://youtu.be/puIi
f6jsjLQ This is the reality of what these cigarettes can do - I know first hand having lost my Mum in a house fire caused by illicit/fake cigarettes. Since her death alot of work has been done by TS and the HMRC to try to stop this happening again. Three fire deaths in Linolnshire in two years all linked to these. RIP cigarettes WILL extinguish when not being smoked - FACT. Please report any sightings of these illicit ones to your local Trading Standards or Crime Stoppers before we have more deaths. This is a nationwide problem which has to be stopped and with the knowledge we now have and working together we can.
ZeeGee ffs maybe you will think before you comment in the future, my Mum was not desparate but she is now dead.
http://youtu.be/puIi f6jsjLQ This is the reality of what these cigarettes can do - I know first hand having lost my Mum in a house fire caused by illicit/fake cigarettes. Since her death alot of work has been done by TS and the HMRC to try to stop this happening again. Three fire deaths in Linolnshire in two years all linked to these. RIP cigarettes WILL extinguish when not being smoked - FACT. Please report any sightings of these illicit ones to your local Trading Standards or Crime Stoppers before we have more deaths. This is a nationwide problem which has to be stopped and with the knowledge we now have and working together we can. ZeeGee ffs maybe you will think before you comment in the future, my Mum was not desparate but she is now dead. joggaju
  • Score: 0

12:30pm Sat 7 Jun 14

joggaju says...

joggaju wrote:
http://youtu.be/puIi f6jsjLQ This is the reality of what these cigarettes can do - I know first hand having lost my Mum in a house fire caused by illicit/fake cigarettes. Since her death alot of work has been done by TS and the HMRC to try to stop this happening again. Three fire deaths in Linolnshire in two years all linked to these. RIP cigarettes WILL extinguish when not being smoked - FACT. Please report any sightings of these illicit ones to your local Trading Standards or Crime Stoppers before we have more deaths. This is a nationwide problem which has to be stopped and with the knowledge we now have and working together we can. ZeeGee ffs maybe you will think before you comment in the future, my Mum was not desparate but she is now dead.
http://youtu.be/puIi
f6jsjLQ
[quote][p][bold]joggaju[/bold] wrote: http://youtu.be/puIi f6jsjLQ This is the reality of what these cigarettes can do - I know first hand having lost my Mum in a house fire caused by illicit/fake cigarettes. Since her death alot of work has been done by TS and the HMRC to try to stop this happening again. Three fire deaths in Linolnshire in two years all linked to these. RIP cigarettes WILL extinguish when not being smoked - FACT. Please report any sightings of these illicit ones to your local Trading Standards or Crime Stoppers before we have more deaths. This is a nationwide problem which has to be stopped and with the knowledge we now have and working together we can. ZeeGee ffs maybe you will think before you comment in the future, my Mum was not desparate but she is now dead.[/p][/quote]http://youtu.be/puIi f6jsjLQ joggaju
  • Score: 0

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