SHOP raids in Herefordshire have uncovered thousands of illegal foreign non UK-duty and counterfeit cigarettes.

The latest raid at Europe Quality Food store on Brookend Street, Ross-on-Wye on Saturday discovered approximately 31,000 illegal cigarettes.

In the joint operation by Herefordshire Council's Trading Standards and West Mercia Police, two men were arrested at the scene on suspicion of being involved in the sale of illegal tobacco.

Raids were also carried out in Hereford on December 16 last month.

A Multi Agency Targeted Enforcement Strategy (MATES) operation raided Supersam in Eign Street and Maxii Mini Market in Commercial Road, Hereford.

They seized 50,000 illegal cigarettes from the two premises, along with a substantial amount of illegal hand rolling tobacco.

The overall seizure from the three shops amounts to £32,000 of tobacco duty evasion. Investigations are ongoing.

Members of the public are urged to contact Trading Standards on 01432 261761 if they have information regarding the sale of illegal tobacco within Herefordshire.