Hackney Council officers seize £5,000 illegal tobacco from ‘suspicious’ woman with shopping trolley - and now want to find her

The tobacco seized by Hackney Council officers. Picture: Hackney Council

The tobacco seized by Hackney Council officers. Picture: Hackney Council - Credit: Hackney Council

A haul of over 3,500 illegal cigarettes and 3kg of loose tobacco worth £5,000 was seized after a woman was spotted “acting suspiciously” with a full shopping trolley and holdall by Hackney Council’s officers in Graham Road.

The trading standards team confiscated the illegal goods she was carrying on April 25, but the woman made off before police arrived. Now the council wants the public to come forward to help identify the woman.

The council's crime chief Cllr Caroline Selman, said: "Illegal tobacco is untaxed, unregulated and often funds organised crime groups.

"While it still has all the harmful properties of legal tobacco, it's also often available at pocket money prices, making it easier for children to start smoking and harder for others to quit.

"We will not hesitate to take enforcement action against those responsible for selling it."

The council has asked anyone with information about the woman's identity or who suspects people or businesses of selling illegal tobacco or single cigarettes to call its trading standards team on 020 8356 4929. Alternatively report anonymously online at trading.standards@hackney.gov.uk.

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