A crack down on the illegal trade by the government saw a number of shops across South London in Croydon, tooting, Sutton and Streatham raided.
The week long operation carried out across South London led by HM Revenue and Customs found 49,180 cigarettes, 731.3ltrs of alcohol and 2.15kgs of hand rolled tobacco all believed to be illegal.
HM Revenue and Customer’s assistant director Chris Gill said that it costs people billions each year because of illegal trade of this kind.
“The sale of illegal tobacco and alcohol will not be tolerated by us or our partner agencies,” going on to say that “Disrupting criminal trade is at the heart of our strategy to clampdown on the illicit tobacco market, which costs the UK around £2.5 billion a year, and the sale of illicit alcohol which costs the UK around £1.3 billion per year. This is theft from the taxpayer and undermines legitimate traders. We encourage anyone with information about the illegal sale of tobacco or alcohol to report it online or call the Fraud Hotline on 0800788887.”