The fight against illicit tobacco rages on, with an illegal factory in Hampshire the latest to be raided by customs investigators.

Illegal tobacco

HM Revenue and Customs officers stormed the industrial unit discovered in Bishop’s Waltham on November 19, and found a tonne of tobacco, worth approximately £300,000-worth of 50g tobacco pouches.

The processing factory was discovered after HMRC arrested two men driving a van containing around half a tonne of illicit tobacco at a police-led road check at Warwick Services on the M40.

Jeremy Blackburn, JTI head of communications, said: “The manufacturing of counterfeit tobacco products in the UK mainland is a growing problem driven by the high levels of tax on cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco which entices criminal gangs to profit at the expense of the general public.”

The latest raids further fuel Retail Express’ Smoke Them Out campaign. The title is compiling a dossier of illicit activity to take to the highest level. If you have any information about your business being damaged by the black market, please call Retail Express anonymously on 020 7689 3376.