Pembrokeshire pair uncover huge haul of illegal tobacco
12:44pm Monday 5th May 2014 in News
PERFECT PARTNERSHIP: Dog handler Stuart Phillips and sniffer dog Phoebe with the confiscated items of illegal tobaccoPICTURE: South Wales Argus
PEMBROKESHIRE’S very own super sniffer dog has struck again, this time helping to locate what is believed to be the largest haul of illegal tobacco by a sniffer dog in the UK.
Operation Husky took place in Newport, south Wales last week. It saw the local council’s trading standards team raid four premises in one area of the city, with a team of officers entering simultaneously.
Illicit tobacco and cigarettes were found hidden beneath floorboards, behind fake walls and in secret compartments in all but one of the premises. It was sniffed out by drug detection spaniel Phoebe, who is a former rescue dog from Greenacres Animal Rescue in Pembrokeshire.
All of the illicit products were bagged up and seized by officers. They are estimated to have a retail value of hundreds of thousands of pounds if they were to be sold on.
Phoebe’s handler, Stuart Phillips of Llandissilio, said the Newport operation was one of the highlights of his dog handling career.
He said: “I am very proud of Phoebe. She had a rough start in life and she has gone on to be one of the top illicit tobacco detection dogs in the UK.
“Her find in Newport is of huge importance because the illicit tobacco trade is connected to serious and organised crime. The proceeds from selling illegal tobacco can ultimately be used to buy drugs and guns.”
Stuart added: “BWY Canine is now a leading provider of drug detection dogs in the UK, and we’re proud to be a Pembrokeshire business.”
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