Illegal cigarettes and alcohol seized in county becomes electricity
Emma Milligan of Lincolnshire County Council.
Raids by the police and trading standards officers led to the discovery and seizure of around 30,000 cigarettes, 400 bottles of wine and 3,000 cans of alcohol over the last six months.
Tackling the sale of counterfeit and illegal cigarettes is a priority as some are extremely dangerous because they do not self-extinguish
More than two tonnes of goods were taken to a special recycling centre where they were broken up and then converted into electricity before being fed into the national grid.
Emma Milligan, principal Trading Standards officer at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “This is the end result of operations and prosecutions carried out in partnership with Lincolnshire Police.
“Tackling the sale of counterfeit and illegal cigarettes is a priority as some are extremely dangerous because they do not self-extinguish.
“Many bottles of alcohol were seized for non-payment of duty, while others were seized because they were counterfeit or fake and potentially very dangerous.
“They can also contain industrial alcohol which is unfit for human consumption so with such potential dangers to the public, it is vital that these products are taken off the streets and I am glad we can put them to use in a productive way.”
Sergeant Kimble Enderby, of Lincolnshire Police’s Alcohol Licensing Team, said: “We have been quite proactive in terms of gathering intelligence and we have been able to act on that intelligence quite quickly.
“Hopefully, this will send out a clear message to members of the public that if they suspect anyone of this kind of crime, we are able to act quickly and decisively to help bring these people to justice.
“It is so rewarding for our officers because much of the wine we have seized is dangerous and not fit for human consumption so no-one can be sure what chemicals go into it.
“Therefore, it is very satisfying to get it off the streets.
“However, the work we are doing here is part of a bigger picture because we know those involved in smuggling items or manufacturing counterfeit goods are often involved in other areas of organised crime as well.”
If you do suspect anyone of selling cheap, illegal cigarettes or alcohol, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 to avoid tragic cases in the future.