Machetes, knives, drugs, bootleg cigarettes and thousands of pounds of cash seized in Hartlepool takeaway raid

Police have seized machetes, knives, drugs, bootleg cigarettes and thousands of pounds of cash in a raid on a takeway.

Friday, 27th September 2019, 1:02 pm
Updated Friday, 27th September 2019, 3:04 pm
Machetes and knives were among the weapons seized.

One person is in custody following the seizures from Joanna’s Fish Bar, in York Road, Hartlepool, at 6pm on Thursday.

A warrant was executed as part of Operation Sentinel, a regional crusade to tackle serious and organised crime, in conjunction with environmental health officers, 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 of counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco.

Bootleg tobacco was also seized.

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Machetes, knives and a small amount of cannabis were also seized.

A 33-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of money laundering and remains in custody.

Another man, aged 25, received a caution for possessing cannabis.

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

The raid took place at Joanna's Fish Bar, in York Road, Hartlepool.

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.”

Cleveland Police can be contacted about alleged crime on 101 and the Hartlepool Community Safety Team on (01429) 523100.

Independent charity Crimestoppers can also be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or at