Lincolnshire

Seized fags and booze to be turned into electricity

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A van full of illegal cigarettes and alcohol seized during raids across the county will be turned into electricity to power Lincolnshire homes.

The illegal goods were seized over the last 12 months during joint operations between Lincolnshire Trading Standards and Lincolnshire Police.

A record seizure of around 200,000 counterfeit cigarettes and approximately 900,000 cans of beer, wine and spirts. Photo: Lincolnshire Police

The goods have now been taken to a specialist recycling centre where they will be broken down and mixed with food. It will be turned into gas that will be burned to create electricity.

Principal Trading Standards Officer at Lincolnshire County Council, Emma Milligan, said: “Tackling the sale of counterfeit and illegal cigarettes and alcohol is a priority for us.

Lincolnshire Trading Standards and Police Licencing Officers seized a large quantity of cigarettes during an operation in Boston. Photo: Lincolnshire Trading Standards

“The cigarettes often contain things real cigarette manufacturers wouldn’t normally use, meaning that a carton of cheap cigarettes isn’t a good deal at all, but can actually pose a serious health risk.

“Some cigarettes do not self-extinguish and are therefore extremely dangerous. Illegal brands, such as Pect, Black Mount and Jin Lings, don’t comply with the UK safety standard of RIP (Reduced Ignition Propensity), meaning they don’t go out when not actively being smoked.

“Many bottles of alcohol including red and white wine and bottles of beer, were seized for non-payment of duty, while others were seized as they were counterfeit or fake and potentially very dangerous, containing industrial alcohol which is unfit for human consumption.”

The fake cigarettes were found in a secret compartment in the convenience store.

Police Licensing Sergeant Kimble Enderby said: “Much of the alcohol we have seized is dangerous and not fit for human consumption. No-one can be sure what chemicals go into it, so it is very satisfying to get it off the streets.

“The work we are doing here is part of a bigger picture, because we know those involved in smuggling items or manufacturing counterfeit goods are often involved in other areas of organised crime.”