Over 37,000 illegal cigarettes uncovered at Ross shop raid

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Officers from Herefordshire Council's Trading Standards and West Mercia Police worked in partnership, with assistance from Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, to execute a search warrant at Europe Quality Food store on Brookend Street, Ross-on-Wye on Tuesday.

On the shop premises a bag was found with 134 packets of illegal cigarettes and 36 pouches of illegal hand rolling tobacco. In the car park opposite the shop, an associated vehicle contained 1761 packets of illegal cigarettes and 254 pouches of illegal hand rolling tobacco.

The total seizure connected to Europe Quality Foods was 37,900 cigarettes and 14.5kg of hand rolling tobacco. All the tobacco products seized were non UK duty paid and a large proportion were counterfeit. The duty evasion from this seizure came to the value of £18,838.

An earlier targeted raid on Europe Quality Foods in January seized 31,000 illegal cigarettes.

Following a history of persistent criminality at the premises, West Mercia Police immediately served a closure notice. At Hereford Magistrates' Court on Tuesday - the shop was ordered to stay closed pending a full court hearing on 7 May 2019 where court will have the power to issue a full three month closure order.

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