Dog sniffs out haul of smuggled tobacco hidden in shop wall
SMUGGLED tobacco worth thousands of pounds has been seized from an Oswestry shop.
Cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco were found in a narrow cavity wall built into the storeroom of the corner shop during a raid carried out by Shropshire Council public protection officers and West Mercia Police.
The keen nose of Bradley the Springer Spaniel, a specially trained tobacco detection dog, was vital to the find last week.
Grant Tunnadine, investigations team manager for the council’s public protection service, said: “With Bradley there to indicate the presence of tobacco it enables us to direct our attention to specific areas within the shop and storage areas.
“It is debatable whether we would have found as much as we did without the dog, who was brilliant.
“It is clear the people involved in this illegal trade have used some ingenuity to hide their stock but all that effort is worthless because with the dog on board we will find it, seize it and take action against those involved.”
Combined with a stash found at a shop in Market Drayton it is believed the illegal haul had a black market value of around £7,000.
Another hiding place was within trays of beer cans with the middle cans removed.
The seizure of around 18,000 cigarettes and 17kg of rolling tobacco included a range of brands believed to be counterfeit or bootlegged which cannot be legally sold in the UK.
Investigations into the activities of the retailers in question are ongoing.
Nose for illegal activity: Bradley the Springer Spaniel with part of the haul of tobacco from the Oswestry shop.