[5/18/17] Illegal cigarettes containing dead flies and rat droppings are reportedly being sold over the counter in London – as consumer groups warn that the black market cigarette trade could expand with the introduction of plain packets.
According to The Sun, more than a third of London smokers have purchased illegal tobacco, which can include ingredients such as human excrement, asbestos, dust, mould and rat droppings, from shops across the capital.
Recently released video footage shows undercover shoppers buying the ‘cheap cigarettes’ from over the counter, paying £5.50 for a single packet.
One in eight of the 50 London retailers who were visited by mystery shoppers was found to be selling illegal cigarettes and tobacco.
The illegal tobacco, which was found in locations including Kilburn, Brick Lane and Maida Vale, has even been linked to organised crime and terrorist funding.
It is thought that the branding ban makes it easier for criminals to produce counterfeit cigarettes.