Sniffer dogs helped to discover large amounts of illegal tobacco in raids carried out in Accrington.
More than 600 packs of contraband cigarettes, tobacco, tobacco blunts, cigar rolls and oral tobacco products were seized after 12 retail premises were visited by Trading Standards, police and three dogs.
The haul included possible counterfeit and non-duty paid tobacco products which cannot be legally sold in the UK. Bottles of suspected counterfeit Glens vodka were also seized in the raids in both Accrington and Haslingden.
County council chiefs said 2,300 packs of illegal tobacco have been seized throughout Lancashire after a series of operations using the detection dogs.
County Councillor Albert Atkinson, deputy leader of Lancashire County
Council, said the operation showed that even the smallest piece of intelligence can make a difference.
He added: "It also demonstrates that more and more people are beginning to understand the serious threat that illegal tobacco poses to our communities and, just as tellingly, that fewer and fewer people are prepared to tolerate it.
"The highly trained tobacco dogs leave no hiding places for those who trade in illegal tobacco, making them a valuable contribution to the armoury of
our Trading Standards Service."
The dogs, named Ozzie, Indy and Patch, helped to find tobacco which traders often conceal in hidden compartments and seemingly empty product boxes.
They were provided by Wagtail UK Ltd and funded by Tobacco Free Lancashire, a collaborative partnership including healthcare professionals formed to help protect children and young people from the harms of tobacco.
Anyone with information about the sale of illegal tobacco should call the
Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 04 05 06 or the confidential
Crimestoppers hotline on 0800 555 111.