A shop in County Durham has been ordered to close for selling illegal cigarettes
A shop in County Durham has been ordered to close for three months having been linked
to the sale of illegal cigarettes and tobacco.
The Lifestyle Express store in Blackhall Colliery was closed by a court following an
application by Durham County Council’s community protection team.
During an investigation by trading standards officers, illegal tobacco products were found
to be being sold from the Middle Street shop. Warrants were also executed in Blackhall
and at addresses in Middlesbrough on 8 September and a substantial quantity of tobacco
products and cash were seized.
Two men arrested during that operation were interviewed in connection with alleged
offences of conspiring to supply counterfeit tobacco products and money laundering, and
were released under investigation.
Peterlee magistrates heard evidence from the council following which they concluded that
the criminal activity would continue if the application was not granted.
The store must remain closed until 16 December.
Owen Cleugh, the council’s public protection manager, said: “We are very pleased with the
“Selling illegal tobacco often goes hand-in-hand with other forms of criminality, makes it
easier for children to smoke and affects those retailers who operate within the law.
“Our officers are committed to reducing the harm of the illegal tobacco trade and I would
urge members of the public to continue reporting it to us so that we can take the
Anybody with information about illegal tobacco can provide it anonymously by calling 0300
999 0000 or by logging on to www.keep-it-out.co.uk .
The work of the council’s trading standards team can be followed on Facebook at