They seized large quantities of illicit alcohol and tobacco from among the 33 shops and off-licences that were targeted.
At one shop they found a consignment of alcohol on which duty had not been paid being unloaded from a van.
They estimated that the revenue lost amounted to £71,756 as they seized
- 2,600 smuggled and counterfeit cigarettes
- 50kg of shisha tobacco
- 2,950 bottles of spirits and wine
- 2,270 litres of beer
A number of the premises face licensing reviews as a result of the raids which may mean that they lose their liquor licences.
This would effectively ban them from selling or storing alcohol.
Bob Gaiger, from Revenue and Customs, said: “Alcohol and tobacco fraud harms honest businesses, costs jobs and takes money away from public services.
“Increasingly, it is run by highly organised criminal gangs.
“We are keen to work closely with local residents and communities in the fight against this type of crime.”
He urged anyone who knows of someone selling cheap or duty-free alcohol to contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 595000 or to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
He said: “Tobacco smugglers alone drain over £2 billion in revenue from the public purse each year.
“This type of fraud is a problem which we are determined to crack.”
Counterfeit alcohol enters the retail market from the backs of vans across the country, he said, often made in illegal factories in Britain.
It is also produced on an industrial scale in Eastern Europe and smuggled into Britain.
Brighton and Hove City Council trading standards said: “Partnership working is an excellent way for us to support local law-abiding businesses while protecting the public from potentially dangerous goods.”
No arrests were made during the two-day ooperation although investigations are continuing pending criminal prosecutions.
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