MORE than 6,000 “under the counter” cigarettes and 930 litres of black market beer were seized when a customs and revenue team raided a single Hereford shop that was already banned from selling alcohol.

The seizure was just one of several made in a series of raids across the county over two days.

One target was a house in Moor Farm, Hereford, from which tobacco was being sold to children. A further three kilos of hand rolling tobacco were found at a house in Leominster.

All told, five shops in the city centre were raided by customs officers backed up by trading standards officials and police.

A dog was used to sniff out where cigarettes may have been hidden Tobacco and alcohol products that would have drained around £13,500 from public finances in unpaid duty were uncovered.

HM Revenue and Customs has had Hereford in its sights since earlier raids exposed the extent of the county’s thriving black market in cigarettes and alcohol – a market described as “highly organised crime.”

One shop had around 6,500 cigarettes and 930 litres of beer seized having already been banned from selling alcohol after a previous bust by customs.

The duty evaded on the cigarettes is around £1,235.

and brands included Jin Ling, L&M Superkings Blue and Minsh.

The duty evaded on the beer is around £1,215.

Brands included Tyskie, Lech and Debowe.

A house search at Moor Farm uncovered 62kg of hand rolling tobacco, 37.5 litres of wine and a quantity of cigarettes. Another 48 litres of beer and 45 litres of wine were found in the garage, with the duty evaded totalling around £11,000.

Illegal cigarette and alcohol sales can be reported to HMRC on 0800 595000.