We always want to make sure that Wrexham is a fair and safe place to do business.

Alongside our partners at HMRC, North Wales Police and inspectors with Wagtail UK, our Trading Standards team investigated a number of retail premises across the County Borough last week – finding a large amount of illicit alcohol and tobacco.

In all, officers seized 8,260 cigarettes, 550g of rolling tobacco and 4,160 litres of alcohol, all of which were illicit products destined for sale in Wrexham. Some food offences were also uncovered by officers.

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Half of all long-term smokers die prematurely of smoking-related diseases, and the availability of illegal tobacco poses a significant threat to young people, given its low cost and easy availability.

If young people get access to cigarettes earlier on, it’s all too easy for them to build up a lifelong addiction.

And while criminals can net large profits by selling alcohol without paying duty, there are very big risks to drinking illicit alcohol – illegal copies of well-known brands of spirits are known have caused blindness and even death in the past.

Investigations are now underway into the premises concerned for a number of Trading Standards, food and HMRC offences.

Cllr Hugh Jones, Lead Member for Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety, said: “Successful joint operations such as these ensure that Wrexham is a fair and safe place to do business and shop.

“We, alongside our partners in HMRC and North Wales Police, will always investigate reports of illegal activity, and will undertake robust enforcement action when any compliance issues are discovered.

“It should be noted that the majority of businesses visited were co-operative, and had no compliance issues. Those businesses who comply with regulations know that such checks take place to ensure that their legitimate business interests are protected, and to provide them with advice on complying with the law where needed.”

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