Two arrested after 18,000 suspected illegal cigarettes are seized in dawn raids

Illegal tobacco seized in Seaham raids.
Illegal tobacco seized in Seaham raids.
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Two people have been arrested and more than 18,000 suspected illicit cigarettes seized following dawn raids in County Durham.

More than £8,000 was also recovered between the two residential addresses in Seaham on Tuesday.

A woman in her late twenties and a man in his early 40s were arrested.

The raids were carried out by Durham County Council with support from Durham Constabulary.

The council’s consumer protection officers seized 18,320 cigarettes and 40.3 kilos of hand rolling tobacco with an estimated street value of £9,500, alongside more than £8,000 in cash.

The tobacco was believed to be either counterfeit or ‘cheap whites’ brands made especially for the illegal market.

Serious concerns have been expressed about the fire safety of counterfeit and ‘cheap white’ cigarettes.