Thouands of illegal cigarettes and tobacco worth over £330,000 has been seized during a crackdown operation.
Officers from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) visited 86 premises and storage in Accrington and other parts of East Lancashire with support from trading standards teams.
More than 708,000 illegal cigarettes worth £211,000 and 567kg of hand-rolled and chewing tobacco worth £130,000 was uncovered at 22 premises along with 17,000 empty and suspected counterfeit tobacco pouches.
Sandra Smith, assistant director of the HMRC fraud investigation service, said: “The sale of illegal tobacco will not be tolerated by us or our partner agencies.
“Disrupting criminal trade is at the heart of our strategy to clampdown on the illicit tobacco market, which costs the UK around £2 billion a year.
“This is theft from the taxpayer and undermines legitimate traders.
“We encourage anyone with information about the illegal sale of tobacco to contact the 24 hour Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”
Six shop owners and storage unit tenants are due to attend police stations in the area for interviews under caution by HMRC officers later this month.
Speaking after the operation Paul Noone, head of Lancashire County Council Trading Standards Service, said: “We regularly act on intelligence received about illegal tobacco, and our operations have resulted in a number of successful prosecutions across the county.
“People who deal in illegal tobacco products should take this latest joint operation as a further warning that we will continue to work with partners such as HMRC to detect such illegal activities and to bring them to a stop.”