Two arrested and thousands of illicit cigarettes seized after warrants across Ipswich and Colchester

Thu 21st, Jun

Tens of thousands of what are believed to be illicit cigarettes were seized yesterday (Wednesday) after police executed a number of warrants across Ipswich and Colchester.

The Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU), in conjunction with Suffolk Trading Standards and HM Revenues and Customs (HMRC), carried out a total of 17 warrants at a number of shops, storage facilities, and residential properties. Tens of thousands of cigarettes, along with a significant amount of cash and rolling tobacco, were seized at various locations as part of the operation. Detective Inspector Rob Turner, from ERSOU’s regional economic crime unit, said: “We carried out a number of warrants in conjunction with our partners in relation to an on-going investigation into the illicit sale of tobacco. “We’re pleased with how the operation went and we’d like to thank the partner agencies who worked with us, as well as Suffolk Constabulary, for their support. “ERSOU will continue to crack down on all types of economic crime across the region as we know the impact from crime such as this can be far reaching and can really impact on local communities.” Cllr Richard Rout, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for Environment and Public Protection, said: “This serves as a timely reminder to individuals storing, selling or distributing illegal tobacco that it will not be tolerated in Suffolk. This operation is a positive example of agencies working together and achieving a successful outcome.” “We would also like to remind Suffolk residents that if you are aware of a premise selling illegal tobacco or cigarettes you can report it, in confidence, by contacting Trading Standards on 0345 4040 506.” A 42-year-old man and a 46-year-old man, both from Ipswich, were arrested on suspicion of money laundering as part of an investigation. The two men have been released under investigation pending further enquiries.