TOBACCO DETECTION dogs discovered 24,100 illegal cigarettes and more than 25 kilos of illicit rolling tobacco in raids across Bradford and Leeds.
The haul, worth more than £7,500, was part of Operation Henry, which saw the Trading Standards Institute, HM Revenue and Customs and West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service unite for a Department of Health-funded scheme.
Indie, a labrador retriever, and Bradley, a springer spaniel, were provided by dog detection specialists Wagtail UK for eight days.
Raids were carried out at five premises across Bradford city centre and Armley, Leeds, which had been identified as tobacco ‘hot spots’ as a result of information from the public.
Seizures, including foreign labelled, counterfeit and non-duty paid products which cannot be legally sold in the UK, were made at four of the premises.
Head of West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service, David Lodge, said: “Those involved in dealing in illegal tobacco may be encouraging people, including children to smoke by providing a cheap source.
“The detection dogs can find tobacco and cigarettes even if hidden in the most unlikely places. Offenders need to know that they will face consequences if they choose to deal in these illegal products.”