POLICE officers executing a warrant at a takeaway shop have seized thousands of pounds worth of cash, counterfeit cigarettes, tobacco, machetes and knives.

Officers at Cleveland Police went to the shop on York Road, Hartlepool, at around 6pm yesterday (Thursday, September 26).

The Northern Echo:

The warrant was carried out under Operation Sentinel, a regional operation to tackle serious and organised crime, in conjunction with partner agencies from Environmental Health, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Gangmasters Labour Abuse Authority.

Around £5,000 in cash was recovered along with thousands of pounds worth of counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco.

A number of machetes and knives and a small amount of cannabis were also recovered.

A 33-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of money laundering. He remains in police custody at this time. 
Another man, aged 25, was issued a caution for possession of cannabis.

Environmental Health officers closed down the shop until improvements are made with food hygiene standards and HMRC will deal with the counterfeit goods. 

Sergeant Adrian Dack, from the Hartlepool Community Safety Team, said: “Yesterday’s multi-agency activity has resulted in the seizure of cannabis, thousands of pounds in cash, thousands of pounds worth of counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco and a number of machetes and knives. In additional to this, one man has been arrested on suspicion of money laundering. 

“This shows that we do listen to community intelligence and we do take action. Anyone who wants to raise issues such as drugs activity or other crime can contact police on 101 or Hartlepool Community Safety Team on 01429 523100.”

Independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.