Self-storage operators in Wrexham, Wales, are working with local police in a program called Operation Fetch, which uses detection dogs to sniff out counterfeit and non-duty-paid cigarettes as well as hand-rolling tobacco. The initiative is part of a government-funded program, according to the source.
The recent, day-long operation was facilitated by North Wales Police, which deployed three dogs from Wagtail UK, an organization that trains dogs and dog teams for the detection of cadavers, cash, drugs, explosives and firearms, hydrocarbons, illegal immigrants, and tobacco, according to the company website.
“Counterfeit and other illegal tobacco does great harm in the community. Its cheapness and ease of supply are particularly attractive to young people and others on low incomes, and it eliminates the price incentive for existing smokers to quit the habit,” councilmember David A Bithell told the source. “I’m delighted to see tobacco-detection dogs being put to such great use in sniffing out this significant threat to health.”
The self-storage operators who participated openly allowed their facilities to be searched, but no illicit tobacco was discovered, the source reported.
“Now [that] relationships have been developed between law-enforcement agencies and the self-storage industry, we will continue to work together to protect consumers, legitimate retailers and businesses by clamping down on the storage and supply of illegal products,” Bithell said.