Counterfeit clothing, more than 4,700 cigarettes and Class A and B drugs were all uncovered during an operation to close down fake goods retailers in Banbury last week.
The operation to disrupt the sale and supply of illegal tobacco was carried out by HM Revenue and Customs officers, supported by Thames Valley Police, Oxfordshire County Council’s trading standards and Border Force.
The taskforce visited nine retailers in the north Oxfordshire town on March 7 and found more than eight and a half kilos of hand-rolling tobacco, two kilos of chewing tobacco and a bag of tobacco leaves, all believed to be illicit.
The cost of the cigarettes and tobacco found has an estimated total worth of more than £4,000.
Police also arrested a man during the raid after finding what is suspected to be Class A and Class B drugs.
Trading Standards seized 31 items of counterfeit clothing and trainers from just one of the premises visited.
Speaking after the operation, Richard Webb, head of community protection services at Oxfordshire County Council, said: “One of our priorities is to tackle illegal trading which undermines legitimate businesses in the county.
“As well as supporting organised crime, the supply of illicit tobacco undermines work to reduce the harm caused by smoking and therefore we will continue to work with our partners to tackle this problem.”
Richard Mayer from the Fraud Investigation Service at HMRC, said: “The sale of illegal tobacco and wider criminality will not be tolerated by us or our partner agencies.
“Disrupting criminal trade is at the heart of our strategy to clampdown on the illicit tobacco market, which costs the UK around £2.5billion a year.
“This is theft from the taxpayer and undermines legitimate traders.”
Police Sergeant Sarah Nash of Thames Valley Police, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity to work alongside partner agencies and disrupt criminality in Banbury.
“We have also seized a significant amount of illegal drugs from a business premises and enquiries are ongoing in relation to this.”
Information about the illegal sale of tobacco should be reported to HMRC’s Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.