A mixture of locations across Morecambe and Lancaster sold illicit tobacco to test purchasers, it emerged today.
All the tobacco collected was non-UK Duty Paid, which can include products which are counterfeit versions of genuine tobacco brands, and illicit whites, manufactured specifically to be smuggled, brought into the UK and sold on illegally.
Morecambe MP David Morris, who was presented with evidence of the widespread illegal tobacco trade by firm JTI, has committed to stamp it out.
The problem of illegal tobacco in Lancashire was previously highlighted in the Evening Post’s Don’t Let Them Make A packet campiaign.
HMRC’S mid-point estimates show that, in 2013/14, £2.1billion in tax revenue was lost because of tobacco smuggling and, according to HMRC, the sale of smuggled cigarettes is unregulated and those products are often sold to children and young people
Mr Morris said: “I was extremely shocked to see the extent of the illegal tobacco.”