THOUSANDS of illegal cigarettes have been seized in a joint operation by multiple agencies in the county.

Dorset Council’s trading standards team worked with Dorset Police and HM Revenue and Customs in seizing 12,500 cigarettes and 37 pouches from three shops in the county.

Two of the shops were located in Weymouth, along with another site in north Dorset.

Dorset Echo: Seized tobacco. Picture: Dorset Council

The seized cigarettes and tobacco included counterfeit and illegally imported products without warning labelling and with no duty paid.

Dorset Police said: "The teams carried out inspections using a trading standards search trained dog. Illegal stock that was sold was not out on display but being sold ‘under the counter’.

"At one location tobacco was found hidden within a wall after the search trained dogs indicated on the area."

Trading Standards South West, who assisted in the operation, said the outcome was a ‘great result’.

Dorset Echo: Seized tobacco. Picture: Dorset Council

Further details about the location of the shops or when the operation took place have not yet been announced.

Dorset Council and Dorset Police have urged anyone who has suspicions about illegal tobacco to report it via the Trading Standards South West’s website or call 0808 223 1133.