a ginger-coloured labrador is looking at the camera in a small room with a tiled floor. He is indicating to his handlers that he can small tobacco
Detection dog Cooper indicates that he can smell tobacco in the spot where the floor safe was discovered

Counterfeit tobacco worth thousands seized

Illegal tobacco and vapes worth thousands of pounds have been seized following a joint operation involving Hull City Council’s Trading Standards team, Hull Central Neighbourhood Policing Team and detection dog specialists BWY Canine.

On Tuesday January 17, a number of premises were visited and several seizures made. In one location, shown in the video, the goods were concealed inside a concrete floor safe with a hydraulic lift. They were found thanks to a combination of trading standards and police intelligence, and the nose of tobacco detection dog Cooper, a fox red Labrador.

A full investigation will now be undertaken.

Cllr Rob Pritchard, Portfolio Holder for Communities, Crime Prevention and Culture at Hull City Council, said: “Illicit tobacco is not as simple as cheap cigarettes. It is a barrier to people quitting, enables children and young people to smoke and can be used to fund organised crime. Work like this is important because it gets these illegal products off the streets and out of our communities. Any counterfeit products, including vapes, can be very dangerous as they are not subject to the rigorous safety standards imposed on goods sold legally.

“Our Trading Standards team will now carry out a full investigation. The results on Tuesday highlight the value of working in partnership – as well as the fantastic detective work dogs like Cooper can achieve!” 

 PC Dave Nimmo said: “Five warrants were conducted on Endike Lane, Inglemire Lane and Orchard Park Road. Hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of illegal tobacco and vapes was seized thanks to the expert nose of Cooper.

“The sale of these products funds more serious crime including human trafficking, child sexual exploitation and terrorism.”

Visit @hullccnews on Twitter, @HullCityCouncil on Instagram or Hull City Council on Facebook for a video of Cooper and the floor safe in action.

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