DOGS have helped sniff out nearly 6,000 illegal cigarettes and 21,000 grams of shisha tobacco in Oxfordshire.

The specially trained dogs took part in an operation across the county last week.

Cooper and Yoyo accompanied officers from Oxfordshire County Council during visits in Oxford, Bicester and Banbury.

Premises were targeted based on prior intelligence, with 6,000 illegal cigarettes – many suspected of being counterfeit – being seized from a vehicle linked to one shop and over 21,000 grams of shisha tobacco from another.

Oxford Mail: Yoyo has played a crucial roleYoyo has played a crucial role

The operation took place under Operation CeCe, a national trading standards campaign in partnership with HMRC, to tackle illegal tobacco.

Enquiries and investigations remain ongoing with the seized products being fully assessed for compliance. 

Jody Kerman, the county council’s head of trading standards, said: “This was a successful operation and forms part of Oxfordshire County Council’s ongoing strategy to identify and disrupt the supply of illegal tobacco.

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“Criminals dealing in illegal tobacco provide a cheap source of supply that can easily end up in the hands of young people whose developing lungs are particularly sensitive to the harm tobacco causes.

“It also encourages adults to carry on smoking, when giving up would dramatically improve their health and wealth.”

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