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Image: Some of the illicit tobacco seized in the operation

Illicit tobacco products with a street value of nearly £4,500 were seized last week (Thursday 4 January 2024) as part of an intelligence led operation involving Falkirk Council’s Trading Standards team and Police Scotland. 

A total of 11,080 sticks of cigarettes and 4.05kg of Hand Rolling Tobacco were taken from vehicles after officers served search warrants for two vehicles to be searched and involving the use of a trained sniffer dog. 

The seizure took place near Falkirk’s Grahams Road – further enquiries are ongoing, and a full report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal in due course. 

The tobacco was a mixture of non-duty paid, counterfeit and illicit/cheap whites. The counterfeit and cheap whites will not have the reduced ignition propensity (RIP) feature. 

The RIP feature restricts oxygen access to the burning end of the cigarette, causing the cigarette to go out if not “puffed” by the smoker, thus reducing the risk of fires. 

The work is part of Operation CeCe which has been ongoing since 2021 and an accumulation of surveillance work and intelligence from members of the public. 

Councillor Stacey Devine, spokesperson for Public Protection said: “Thanks to the work of Trading Standards and Police Scotland, these tobacco products have now been removed from circulation. 

“This type of operation is illegal and can lead to involvement in far more serious crime so clamping down on offenders is really important to disrupt supplies.” 

The public are urged to report counterfeit and illicit tobacco via