Look out for fake booze and fags

CAR booters are being told to keep an eye out for rogues selling fake cigarettes and booze over the coming flurry of Bank Holidays.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will be prowling boot sales across 1066 Country over the next fortnight or so as part of a crackdown on traders selling counterfeit and smuggled cigarettes and alcohol at what may appear to be bargain prices.

Just last year a host of newsagents in St Leonards and nearby Bexhill were hawled before the courts after being found selling foreign fags.

And HMRC is aware of similar deals being offered at boot sales.

A spokesman said: “Like any other counterfeit product, there is no guarantee of the quality or content. Of all the large cigarette seizures HMRC made last year around half were found to be counterfeit.

“They are not genuine cigarettes brought back from holiday but were probably made in back-street or underground factories across the world.

“The profits from tobacco and alcohol smuggling fund other criminal activities including drug and people trafficking, and cause real harm in the local community.”

Anyone who knows of someone selling illegal cigarettes or knock-off drink should call 0800 59 5000 or email customs.hotline@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.