HUNDREDS of cigarettes believed to have been imported illegally were seized as police swooped in a morning raid on a house.
Police officers and police community support officers discovered three cartons of cigarettes at the property in Bruce Crescent, in Hartlepool, after searching the house at around 9.30am yesterday.
It’s believed the cigarettes were imported without any duty tax being paid and police are now working closely with Customs and Excise and Trading Standards to investigate the case further.
No arrests were made yesterday but police say the swoop, which follows a drugs raid in St Oswalds Street earlier this week, is another example of the force working closely with residents and other organisations to clampdown on crime.
Sgt Matthew Poole, of Cleveland Police, said: “This is intelligence-led policing at its best.
“We will continue to listen to the concerns of the local community and act on any intelligence that is received as part of our approach to addressing ward priorities.
“I would urge residents to come forward and speak with us about any concerns they may have about where they live.”
Sgt Poole added: “We believe that the cigarettes that have been seized have been imported illegally and we will be working closely with Customs and Excise and Trading Standards to continue to investigate further.”
Officers from the Miers Avenue Neighbourhood Policing Team joined with Trading Standards officers to execute a warrant on the address, which is owned by Housing Hartlepool.
After searching the house for around 30 minutes, officers left with a bag full of the cigarettes found inside.
Ian Harrison, Principal Trading Standards and Licensing Officer for Hartlepool Council, said: “Our Trading Standards team work closely with Hartlepool Police to tackle this type of crime and we have a key role in supporting them in this work.”
Anyone with information can contact Cleveland Police on the non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”