A SERIES of raids have taken place in County Durham today (Friday, February 15) as part of a crackdown on illegal tobacco.

They were carried out by trading standards officers from Durham County Council, supported by officers from Durham Constabulary and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

A vehicle delivering to a licensed premises along with two houses and a domestic garage in east Durham were targeted as part of the operation.

More than 30,000 cigarettes, 600 pouches of rolling tobacco and 300 bottles of wine were seized in total.

A 48-year-old man and a 45-year-old woman were arrested and are helping police with their inquiries.

Councillor Bob Young, cabinet member for strategic environment at Durham County Council, said: “We are determined to crack down on the trade in illicit tobacco in County Durham and this operation was carried out as part of our efforts.

“We will continue to work in partnership with the police and HMRC to address this issue.”

Anyone with information about people dealing in illegal tobacco can pass it on completely anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800-555-111 or by visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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