A MASSIVE haul of illegal cigarettes has been seized by police officers in Evesham.

Officers managed to seize six bags filled with illegal cigarettes during an operation in the town.

Search dogs were used to hunt out the contraband yesterday (Wednesday) which has since been confiscated.

Police officers from Evesham and Pershore worked alongside Worcestershire Trading Standards on the operation.

Evesham Safer Neighbourhoods Team tweeted to say: "Evesham SNT was out yesterday with @WorcsTS and @BWYK9 conducting an operation tackling #illegaltobacco in #Evesham.

"Another successful operation with more products seized!"

UPDATE: This is value of the haul of illegal haul of tobacco seized by police with dogs

Worcestershire County Council has recently refreshed its Illicit Tobacco Partnership which has seen the size of the illicit tobacco market significantly reduce over the last 15 years.

Illicit cigarettes now make up around 10 per cent of the total market share, compared to over 20 per cent in 2000/01.


A spokesman said: "Tackling illicit tobacco is important for so many reasons.

"We know that price is the most important lever in encouraging smokers to quit and, given that illicit tobacco is available much cheaper than legally bought tobacco, it encourages smokers to smoke more.

"We also know that illicit tobacco sellers will sell to anyone regardless of their age and as a result children can become hooked early in life."

The Illicit Tobacco Partnership aims to continue to drive down the illicit tobacco market by addressing its availability, reducing its social acceptability and bringing about social change.