COUNTERFEIT cigarettes and illicit booze are being sold around Cheshire, experts have warned.
In a crackdown on black market crime, HM Revenue and Customs are now urging people to be on their guard in the New Year.
With clever packaging, it can often be difficult to spot dodgy goods.
But almost 17 million illegal cigarettes and more than 250,000 litres of alcohol have recently been seized from homes across the North West.
Graham Forbes, HMRC Special Investigations Manager, said: “We’ve active and effective teams of officers operating across the North West to disrupt this illicit trade which has a devastating impact on legitimate retailers.
He spoke of discovering counterfeit cigarettes and drink in pubs and newsagents, and even in the boot of a taxi.
Anyone who knows of someone selling cheap or duty free cigarettes and alcohol should call Customs on 0800 59 5000 or email customs.hotline@hmrc. gsi.gov.uk.