Hull’s biggest haul of illicit tobacco has been discovered in a flat above a shop in Beverley Road, Hull, and in a nearby van.
More than 145,000 cigarettes and 283 pouches of tobacco – with a value of more than £40,000 and a tax revenue loss of around the same amount – were found and seized after Trading Standards officers from Hull City Council worked with partners including Humberside Police.
The flat was accessed by climbing a ladder through a hole cut in the floor.
A criminal investigation is now under way.
A spokesperson from the Trading Standards team said: “We obtained a warrant to enter the flat because we had strong reason to believe it was being used to store illicit tobacco.
“It turned out to be the largest seizure we’ve ever made in the city, with huge piles of cigarettes and tobacco pouches all over the room.
“The access to the room was very unsafe, with people literally entering through a hole cut through the floor.
“Trade of illicit tobacco can be seen as a victimless crime, but this is very much not the case. It funds organised crime, prevents people quitting and attracts children to smoking.”
Report illicit tobacco being sold in your community here or call the tobacco hotline on 0300 999 0000.