The Metropolitan Police Service raided a residential house in The Roundway, Tottenham, North London on Tuesday, 12 September in partnership with detectives from TM Eye’s Illicit Tobacco Team who work on behalf of Tobacco International (JTI).
There were ten Chinese nationals living in the house, 8 adults and 2 young children.
The house was full of fake cigarettes and tobacco and had a separate outhouse situated at the rear yard of the premises used as a manufacturing site.
They seized 7 full bin liners of raw tobacco containing over 140kg of cut tobacco, boxes containing thousands of fake empty hand rolling tobacco labels and packaging, (mainly Amber Leaf and Golden Virginia), numerous boxes of tobacco filled Amber Leaf HRT and tobacco filled Golden Virginia pouches, a seizure of B&H Gold sleeves and other brands, bottles of white vinegar, tax stamps, and heat sealing equipment, which was being used to manufacture tobacco pouches.
There were also numerous large boxes of cigarette sleeves smuggled from China in metal casing to conceal the illicit goods.
The haul has not been counted or examined yet but is estimated to be worth over £2 million.
The raid follows months of surveillance on individuals selling fake cigarettes and tobacco at car boot sales.
TM Eye CEO David McKelvey said: “This is an outstanding result and has significantly disrupted this organised crime network who were supplying shops and car boot sales across North and East London.
“Fake tobacco pouches and cigarettes have been found to contain highly toxic and dangerous contaminates such as asbestos, rat poison and other harmful pollutants.
“These criminals manufactured tobacco products and sold them as genuine but at significantly lower prices.
“I would like to thank the local MPS Community Team who were outstanding and spent hours recording the haul, bagging and tagging it. Totally professional, dedicated and committed.
“TM Eye will now consider prosecuting those involved.”
About TM EYE
TM EYE was formed in 2007 with the motto of ‘Acta Non Verba’, i.e., ‘Deeds, Not Words’. After an initial period building intelligence and understanding the problems of counterfeiting in the UK, TM EYE became active in tackling Intellectual Property theft in 2010 by pro-active targeting of offenders.
TM EYE offers a covert and overt investigation capability and undertakes operations with law enforcement. Other services include a test purchase capability, support for UK Border Agency interventions, evidential statements for examinations, surveillance and investigations.
(Source: TM EYE)