Thanet shops and houses raided in illicit tobacco crackdown

Raids were carried out at premises including two stores in Northdown Road

Officers from KCC Trading Standards, Kent Police and HMRC carried out several raids in Thanet this morning (March 26) as part of a wide-scale crackdown on the supply of illicit tobacco on the isle.

At least 75 officers were involved in the operation led by Trading Standards. Warrants were simultaneously executed at three commercial premises, two residential addresses and two vehicles.

Premises included Northdown Road Grocery, the Al Madinah food store next door, in Northdown Road, and the International Eastern European convenience shop in Ramsgate High Street.

During the operation across the isle officers, with the support of specialist sniffer dogs, seized 131,480 cigarettes (6,574 packs) and 352 packs of hand-rolling tobacco, with a total value £66,000. They also seized £22,000 cash, which is believed to be the proceeds of crime.

Kent Police arrested one person in connection with the operation.

Superintendent Alan Rogers, from Kent Police, said: “The action carried out on Monday 26 March was down to a combined effort between Kent Police and partner agencies including Trading Standards and Kent County Council.

“The purpose was to crack down on the illegal sale of tobacco and officers carried out warrants at several addresses in Thanet. These included Northdown Road and Grotto Road in Cliftonville, Burlington Place and Harold Road in Margate and the High Street in Ramsgate.

“Our work with partners is important as it allows us to draw on a mix of expertise in order for operations like these to be successful.

“We arrested a 32-year-old man from Cliftonville on suspicion of selling goods that were not what they were labelled to be, an offence under the Trades Mark Act. He has been released pending further enquiries.”

Clive Phillips, Operations Manager for KCC Trading Standards said: “This operation sends a clear message, from all agencies involved, that the supply of illicit tobacco will not be tolerated.

“We will take robust action with our partners against those who undermine legitimate businesses, cause harm to our communities and avoid paying the appropriate taxation which funds our vital public services.”


  1. Tax doesn’t fund vital public services. It funds paying back the billions of pounds we owe due to the banks fuckng up as funding for vital services are cut. Harm to the community? By selling the individual a product that’s 50% cheaper so they have a bit more money in there pocket to spend on what they need and/or enjoy… Congratulations hmr, the police and trading standards. Bang up job you bunch of retards. And before anyone comes at me with a “sub standard product” argument. There cigarettes. None of them are good for you. Also anyone looking to throw the whole “profits from this funding other crimes” argument out there. Anything you buy potentially funds crime weather it be in the lawful sense or against humanity, from the trainers on your feet to the wedding ring on your finger. So unless your very very careful to avoid suchlike when indulging in consumerism, think carefully before congratulating the guys behind this raid.

  2. @Anon: You are quite right. You said it all for me. One thing the so-called elite can’t stand is competition; so they use their ‘octogon’ slaves (police and armed forces) to do their dirty work for them.

  3. Well said anon!
    Perhaps our government might just get the message that the PEOPLE don’t want banks bailed out.
    If they fail then goodbye is enough of an epitaph.

  4. It’s not just about selling stolen goods, that shop was also selling them to underage kids as well.

  5. “Grotto Road in Cliftonville”?? Perhaps it is a typo. Shouldn’t that be Ghetto Road in Cliftonville?

  6. There was nothing for all the Anon’s above to panic about where they were going to get all their cheap, illegal fags from in future, as within hours of closing during the raid on their shops these lawless sellers were back up and running again. Some say the shops are a front for other activities.

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