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31.07.23 – Trading Standards welcome law changes, Two Drug Warrant Arrests in Staffordshire

Written by on 30 July 2023

Officers at Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards service have welcomed changes in the law which will see higher fines for those selling illicit tobacco.

The new sanctions introduced this month (July) mean that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) can enforce penalties of up to £10,000 for those businesses and individuals selling illicit tobacco.  Depending on the severity of the breach, rule-breaking businesses could also have their license revoked as well as having their tobacco products seized.

The new powers build on the successful work of Operation CeCe, a joint initiative between HMRC and National Trading Standards to tackle the illicit tobacco trade, which has removed 27 million illicit cigarettes and 7,500kg of hand rolling tobacco from sale in its first two years.

People can read more about the new sanctions here And anyone with information about the sale of illegal tobacco or vapes in Staffordshire can call the Fight the Fakes hotline on 01785330356.


Two men have been arrested after officers from Staffordshire Police found cannabis during drug warrants in Newcastle-under-Lyme and Stoke-on-Trent last Thursday

As part of an ongoing operation to target drug supply, Officers seized cannabis, mobile phones, cash and iPads across four addresses.

In two separate warrants A 21-year-old man, from Stoke-on-Trent, was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of cannabis and also  A 28-year-old man, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, was arrested on suspicion of possessing cocaine and possession with intent to supply cannabis

Both men have since been released under investigation while enquiries continue.

Sergeant Rebecca Evans, of the Newcastle local policing team, said: “A number of officers carried out simultaneous warrants as we continue to proactively target drug supply across Staffordshire.  We acted at pace to investigate information and intelligence from our communities and we’d urge those with any concerns to continue reporting it to us so we can take action.”

To get in touch with us, call 101 or message us using Live Chat on our website –

You can also report anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.