A SNIFFER dog helped nose out potentially illegal cigarettes stored behind a false wall in a Leigh shop.

More than 7000 cigarettes and 5kg of tobacco believed to be counterfeit are currently being examined after a series of raids in Leigh, Hindley and Wigan.

The largest seizure was at the Leigh Road shop where Ozzie, a trained sniffer dog, detected cigarettes being stored behind the false wall which was disguised as a shower unit.

A number of successful raids in the borough have been made by Wigan Council’s Trading Standards team over the last few weeks - made possible by the public and local businesses.

Councillor Kevin Anderson, Wigan Council cabinet member for safer communities, said: "Firstly I would like to thank the people of the borough who came forward with the information needed to conduct the raids which lead to the confiscation of thousands of illegal cigarettes and large amounts of illegal tobacco.

“It is concerning to see shops in the borough engaging in this illegal activity and the council and Trading Standards can assure the public that they are doing all that they can to tackle the problem of counterfeit and illegal cigarettes reaching the people of the borough.

“I would also like to encourage anyone with information about the sale of illegal cigarettes to come forward and contact Trading Standards confidentially.”

To report illegal sellers to Trading Standards in confidence call 01942 827476 or email ts@wigan.gov.uk. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.