ILLEGAL cigarettes and tobacco have been seized after raids on six shops in the borough after tip-offs from the public.

The seized items, including Mayfair and Golden Virginia brands, were either counterfeit or smuggled into the UK without duty being paid, and seized on raids in Bury, Radcliffe and Whitefield.

Angela Lomax, unit manager with Bury’s trading standards, said: “We are determined to identify and bring to justice those who are involved in this trade.

“Offenders need to know that they will face consequences if they choose to deal in illegal tobacco.”

Andrea Crossfield, director of Tobacco Free Futures, said: “We, along with partners such as Bury Council, have been working successfully to cut the supply of and demand for cheap illegal tobacco.

"Its low price and easy availability encourages people to keep smoking, and children and young people are often targeted by unscrupulous traders.

“This enforcement action is therefore welcomed”

The raids were carried out by Bury Council’s trading standards team, Trading Standards North West’s illicit tobacco team and Greater Manchester Police.

Anyone with information regarding the sale of illegal tobacco can pass on information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 040505, or the Trading Standards North West Illicit Tobacco Team on 01925 442466.