Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards has found illegal cigarettes and tobacco products hidden beneath a manhole cover at the rear of a shop in Leamington Spa.
The products were suspended above raw sewage. The discovery was made during a series of inspections of shops in the Leamington Spa area, in which trading standards officers seized more than 30,000 cigarettes and 100 packets of hand rolling tobacco.
Officers also found suspected counterfeit and non-duty paid cigarettes and tobacco hidden in an outside drain, in wheelie bins on the roadside and in a secret hide located behind shelving.
Warwickshire County Councillor Andy Crump, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety said: “The availability of cheap illegal cigarettes and tobacco makes it easier for young people to start smoking and harder for existing smokers to quit.
“The criminal gangs that sell these products are warned that there is nowhere they can hide these products that we won’t find them.
“Warwickshire Trading Standards will continue to disrupt the activities of illegal cigarette and tobacco sellers and suppliers across Leamington Spa and Warwickshire.”