Another store closed in Stockton town centre over illegal cigarettes

Bulk Sale on Norton Road has been given a three-month closure order over illegal cigarettes
-Credit: (Image: Stockton Council)


Another shop has been closed down in Stockton over the sale of illegal cigarettes.

stockton-council>Stockton Council has continued its action against the illegal sales with another shop closed down in the town centre. Bulk Sale on Norton Road has been given a three-month closure order, which was secured by the Council at Teesside Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, May 29.

This follows on from recent closures of the Blue Shop and Zirak Mini Market in the area. The Court heard how complaints were made regarding illegal cigarette sales since it first opened last month.

And test purchases carried out by the Council’s Trading Standards team found the cigarettes to not have the standardised packaging or required unique identification number. Carolyn Nice, Director of Adults, Health and Wellbeing at Stockton Council, said: “We know that residents are concerned about the sales of illegal cigarettes in the community, which is why we continue to utilise the community intelligence and act on these concerns to secure the three-month closure orders, which is the maximum penalty.

“The investigations into illegal cigarette sales are incredibly complex and our Trading Standards officers continue to work tirelessly and take a zero-tolerance approach. They deserve enormous credit for bringing this action forward so quickly.

“The closure orders are just one way we are working to tackle organised groups like this alongside our partners. We’re sending out a strong message, if you’re selling illegal cigarettes then we will seek to close you down.

“And of course we encourage all residents who are concerned about sales of illicit cigarettes to continue to get in touch with our Trading Standards team by calling 01642 526560 or emailing trading.standards@stockton.gov.uk.”

This work was carried out as part of Operation Cece, which is run in partnership with the National Trading Standards and HMRC to help tackle the sales of illicit tobacco. Lord Michael Bichard, Chair, National Trading Standards, said: "The trade in illegal tobacco harms local communities and affects honest businesses operating within the law.

"Having removed 27 million illegal cigarettes, 7,500kg of hand rolling tobacco and almost 175kg of shisha products from sale, the National Trading Standards initiative in partnership with HMRC continues to successfully disrupt this illicit trade."

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