Imperial Tobacco have announced the release of the latest instalment in its Suspect it? Report it! anti-illicit trade campaign.
The poster illustrates how counterfeit tobacco may be sold in the most seemingly unlikely of places; in this case an ice-cream van. It continues a disturbing trend of criminals targeting youngsters with illegal tobacco products, undermining the Government’s youth access prevention programmes.
Peter Nelson, Imperial Tobacco Anti-Illicit Trade Manager comments: “Ice-cream vans are traditionally associated with fun and childhood innocence, but some criminals are cynically using them as fronts to distribute illegal tobacco.
“For instance, this February an ice-cream van was raided in County Durham. The haul allegedly contained 4,560 illicit cigarettes and 20.35kg of smuggled hand-rolling tobacco, with an estimated street value of £4000. We also understand from the article that the van was known to park near primary schools, suggesting children may have been targeted.*
“Our message remains clear: if you’ve any suspicions regarding illegal tobacco activity, don’t be silent. Suspect it? Then protect your local community and Report it!”