ILLEGAL cigarettes and tobacco were discovered below a manhole cover, suspended above raw sewerage in Leamington.
Over 30,000 cigarettes and 100 packets of hand rolling tobacco were seized when Warwickshire Trading Standards officers carried out raids on shops in south Leamington.
Acting on intelligence, officers visited several shops and discovered suspected counterfeit and non-duty paid cigarettes and tobacco, hidden in an outside drain, in wheelie bins and in a secret hide located behind shelving.
Warwickshire County Council’s community safety spokesman Andy Crump said: “The availability of cheap illegal cigarettes and tobacco makes it easier for young people to start smoking and harder for existing smokers to quit.
“The criminal gangs that sell these products are warned that there is nowhere they can hide these products, that we won’t find them.
“Warwickshire Trading Standards will continue to disrupt the activities of illegal cigarette and tobacco sellers and suppliers across Leamington and Warwickshire.”
Visit centsa.org.uk/anonymous-hotline/ to report sales of illegal tobacco.