Thousands of illegal cigarettes have been seized in St Helens as part of a campaign to tackle rogue traders.
Operation Rogue Trader also saw 19 roadside stop checks made during the annual week of activity by the Council’s Trading Standards team and Merseyside Police to raise awareness about the problems of rogue trading.
Three properties were searched with thousands of illegal cigarettes were seized from one address.
This was after the stash was “sniffed out” by specially trained dogs who are able to locate hidden illegal tobacco.
Darrell Wilson, Chief Trading Standards Officer at St Helens Council, said: “Operation Rogue Trader is an excellent example of partners working together to tackle the real misery caused by rogue traders.
“Offenders can be both plausible and intimidating in order to convince their victims to part with cash for overpriced and shoddy work.
“Trading Standards advice is to always say “no” to any traders offering to carry out work who unexpectedly turn up on your doorstep.”
Rogue traders are individuals or groups of people who cold-call householders, often targeting vulnerable residents, claiming to be a bona fide business charging excessive fees for building or gardening.
For example, yet the work carried out is either sub-standard or not carried out at all.
Anyone who suspects rogue traders are operating in the area are advised to contact the police on 101.
For more information visit www.sthelens.gov.uk/traderregister or contact 01744 676338.