ILLEGAL cigarettes, tobacco and alcohol have been seized after a number of raids in High Wycombe and the South Bucks Districts.

Almost 700 packs of cigarettes and over 4000 grams of tobacco, with an estimated market value of £4,300 were seized from eight stores across the area, yesterday.

Officers also seized more than 450 bottles of wine and 90 litres of spirits, thought to be imported without the duty paid, or counterfeit, as were the cigarettes and tobacco.

Buckinghamshire County Council Trading Standards Officer Lawrence Eldridge has stressed the risks of selling these illegal products.

He said: “We can't stress enough the risks to the public of illegal tobacco and alcohol, and we want to make sure we're doing all we can to protect them.

“Past analysis of counterfeit tobacco products has shown they can contain dangerous ingredients such as cyanide, and even plastic, sand, insects and rat droppings.”

The operation was led by the Buckinghamshire Trading Standards and HMRC.

Some of the illegal items, which were hidden from view, were found by a Pembrokeshire specialist BWY Canine sniffer dog.

No action has yet been brought as a result of this investigation. However, investigations will continue in the coming weeks.