MORE than 15,000 cigarettes and 4.7kg of hand-rolling tobacco have been seized across the town thanks to the help of two sniffer dogs.

Ozzie, a black labrador, and Milo, a springer spaniel, provided by Wagtail UK helped detect the concealed stashes of tobacco at two premises that were visited during Operation Henry.

Running since April this year, the partnership between the Trading Standards Institute (TSI), Warrington Borough Council Trading Standards and the police has been cracking down on the supply of illicit tobacco as part of an initiative across nine regions in England.

The seizure included ‘illicit white’, non-duty paid and counterfeit tobacco which cannot be legally sold in the UK following information from the public.

Peter Astley, council assistant director of public protection, said: “Those involved in dealing in illegal tobacco may be encouraging people, including children to smoke by providing a cheap source.

“The detection dogs can find tobacco and cigarettes even if hidden in the most unlikely places.”