6,000 viagra tablets and thousands of illegal cigarettes seized in Sunderland dawn raid

Thousands of illegal cigarettes and 6,000 viagra tablets have been taken off the streets following an early-morning raid in Sunderland.

By James Barker
Monday, 22 July, 2019, 09:59
Thousands of illegal cigarettes have been taken off the street

Police officers and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) staff attended an address in the Hartley Street area, earlier in the month, and seized 7,680 cigarettes, nearly 18kg of tobacco and 6,000 viagra tablets during the early-morning raid.

Police also uncovered a further 3,000 cigarettes and in excess of three kilograms of tobacco linked to other properties.

The illegal products have now been seized, and enquiries are ongoing into the supply of the counterfeit goods.

Over six-thousand Viagra tablets have been recovered

Inspector Jamie Southwell, of Northumbria Police, said: “This joint-operation with HMRC was the result of weeks of preparation and planning, and we are pleased to have taken these illegal goods off the streets.

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“Some people may think the selling of counterfeit goods is a victimless crime, but quite often these goods can be a product of organised crime.

“We are committed to pursuing criminals and protecting our communities as part of Operation Sentinel, which is our collaborative approach to tackling serious and organised crime, and we will continue to work with all our partners to prevent and disrupt these groups.”

Denis Kerr, assistant director in the fraud investigation service at HMRC, said: “The sale of illegal tobacco will not be tolerated by us or our partner agencies. "Disrupting criminal trade is at the heart of our strategy to clampdown on the illicit tobacco market, which costs the UK around £1.8 billion a year. This is theft from the taxpayer and undermines legitimate traders.”

A small selection of the illegal goods seized