Dogs discovered a large amount of illicit tobacco at shops across the area in a operation between GMP Trafford and Trafford Council.

The partnership of the police and a Trading Standards team targeted the stores, which were not named, thanks to reports from the public.

Dogs, trained by Wagtail UK, discovered a large amount of illicit tobacco at shops across the area, all of which was confiscated with action including prosecution to be considered.

It comes as the police and the Trading Standards team at Trafford Council, as well as across the country, crack down on the illegal market as a part of nationwide Operation CeCe.

Richard Roe, the council's Director of Place, said: "This is great work by our teams at the council and the police. Tobacco bought on the illegal market is likely to be the result of criminal activity with links to the drug trade, human trafficking and loan sharks, bringing crime into our communities and exploiting vulnerable people.

"As well as its links to crime, we know illegal tobacco is how many children start smoking and cheaper prices undermine smokers' attempts to quit."

Mr Roe added: "We are working with partners across Greater Manchester to drive down the illegal trade and the market is declining but it is still a burden on our communities.

"When it comes to illegal tobacco, there really is no hiding place. These detection dogs can find tobacco and cigarettes even when they are hidden in the most unlikely places."

Chief Inspector Darren Lomas, of GMP Trafford, said: "This seizure is a great example of the partnership work we do in this district and has sent a clear message that we will not tolerate the sale of illicit products that put the safety of our communities at risk.

"As a force, GMP are committed to making communities safer and better places to live and work, and we will always work closely with community members to ensure we achieve this."

Anyone with information can contact police on 101 or the LiveChat on

They can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

This article was written by Jack Tooth. To contact him, email or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.