HM REVENUE and Customs (HMRC) has seized thousands of cigarettes and more than a 100 crates of beer during raids on shops in Hastings, St Leonards and Eastbourne.
Last Thursday (May 29) HMRC seized 8,500 cigarettes, 8 kilos of rolling tobacco, 8 kilos of shisha tobacco, 2 kilos of cigar wrappings, 150 crates of beer and 70 boxes of wine from across 19 convenience stores.
The operation was supported by a tobacco sniffer dog who identified two concealments containing illicit cigarettes.
Jennie Kendall spokesperson for HMRC, 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.”
The revenue loss on the haul is around £8,000 and investigations are ongoing.