An illegal tobacco sniffer dog found £8,000 worth of counterfeit goods hidden in a ceiling tile in a Rugby shop.
Scamp the sniffer dog was taking part in a community demonstration with his handler and Warwickshire Trading Standards Officers today (Thursday August 20) when the team received a tip off from a member of the public.
They went to the premises this morning, alongside Warwickshire Police, and discovered illegal tobacco and suspected counterfeit vodka.
The shop owner was arrested and is currently being questioned.
The name of the store cannot be released at this time.
Simon Cripwell, a Warwickshire Trading Standards Officer, said: “We didn’t expect to carry out a raid this morning in Rugby town centre but a member of the public tipped us off and as a result we have seized a large quantity of illegal tobacco.
“We also seized several bottles of vodka that we believe may not be genuine.
“The aim of our illegal tobacco tour is to raise awareness of the dangers associated with the fake products and also promote a non-smoking message where possible.
“Fake cigarettes can be filled with all sorts of nasty things and can be very dangerous.
“People often don’t realise that illegal tobacco is sold to fund criminal activity. So when people purchase cheap cigarettes, that money can actually be used to buy guns for a terrorist group in another part of the world.”
Scamp the sniffer dog was accompanied by his handler Stuart Phillips, who works for specialist search dog company B W Y Canine.
Stuart said: “It takes around 12 weeks to train a sniffer dog and Scamp can also detect cash as well as tobacco.”
The dogs are trained to sniff tobacco and locate its whereabouts. The team assume any tobacco that is intentionally hidden could be fake and conduct further investigations.