8,260 cigarettes, 550g of rolling tobacco and 4,160 litres of alcohol have been seized after a series of raids in the Wrexham area.
The ‘illicit products’ were destined for sale in Wrexham and were located after a number of retail premises were targeted by HMRC, North Wales Police and Wrexham Council Trading Standards.
Wrexham Council said: “While criminals can net large profits by selling alcohol without paying duty, there are very big risks to drinking illicit alcohol – illegal copies of well-known brands of spirits are known have caused blindness and even death in the past. Investigations are now underway into the premises concerned for a number of Trading Standards, food and HMRC offences.”
Specific premises were not named by Wrexham Council or HMRC.
Cllr Hugh Jones, Lead Member for Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety, said: “Successful joint operations such as these ensure that Wrexham is a fair and safe place to do business and shop.
“We, alongside our partners in HMRC and North Wales Police, will always investigate reports of illegal activity, and will undertake robust enforcement action when any compliance issues are discovered.
“It should be noted that the majority of businesses visited were co-operative, and had no compliance issues. Those businesses who comply with regulations know that such checks take place to ensure that their legitimate business interests are protected, and to provide them with advice on complying with the law where needed.”
Just over a year ago premises in the town centre were raided by HMRC, again part of a wider number of properties, to disrupt the sale and supply of illegal tobacco and alcohol across North Wales and uncovered more than 440,000 cigarettes, 169 kilos of hand-rolling tobacco and 2,700 litres of alcohol – all believed to be illicit.
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