Crooks caught stashing over £100,000 worth of illegal cigarettes in “James Bond-style” hiding places


Crooks have been caught stashing over £100,000 worth of illegal cigarettes in “James Bond-style” hiding places.

Some were found in a fake mirror.

Others were found in a dummy electrical consumer board.

Stunned cops who found them with trading standards officers compared them to something out of a 007 movie.

They were found in Kirklees, West Yorkshire.

Officers from the Dewsbury and Mirfield Neighbourhood Police Team and West Yorkshire Trading Standard are investigating the illegal stash in a joint operation.

They also found illegal disposable vapes.

These contained more than the legal maximum of 2ml of liquid – around 600 puffs.

Some were stashed behind a fuse box (Credit: Jam Press)

The secret stash was discovered last Monday (23 Oct).

Officers have admitted they were impressed with the lengths the criminals have gone to to hide their stash.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: “Attending officers said they had been surprised by the lengths those involved had gone to in concealing their stash.

“With some hiding places being worthy of a James Bond-style spy film.

“They said in one case a false fuse on an electrical consumer board released the board to reveal a hidden cupboard filled with illegal tobacco.

“Another was hidden in a section of hinged false wall hidden behind a bathroom mirror which slid up within the frame it was in.”

In August police and trading standards officers seized 12,000 cigarettes, four kg of hand rolling tobacco and 4,500 vapes with a retail value of £45,000 in an operation in Huddersfield.

These are used to fund criminal enterprises.

Sgt Stuart Clarke of the Dewsbury and Mirfield NPT, said: “We know that money raised from illegal tobacco sales can be used to directly fund organised crime and through this operation, West Yorkshire Trading Standards and Police have dealt a substantial blow to the criminals benefitting from the supply of illegal and illicit tobacco in communities,

“Through working together we removed in excess of  £100,000 worth of illegal and potentially dangerous tobacco products from stores carrying illegal goods.

“Investigations will continue to identify supply routes and Police Licensing Officers will consider breaches of the premises licence.”

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