A HAUL of illicit tobacco has been taken off the streets of Bury thanks to the super sniffing skills of two of the borough's best canine detectives.

A total of 4,500 cigarettes and 2kg of hand-rolling tobacco was seized by Bury Council trading standards and licensing officers and police, acting on tip-offs, on Tuesday.

The tobacco, which was found to be either counterfeit, non-duty paid or incorrectly labelled, was discovered by sniffer dogs Billy and Ted.

The pooches from tobacco detection company Wagtails UK had been enlisted to help out on raids on nine premises in Bury and Prestwich.

Angela Lomax, head of trading standards and licensing at Bury Council, said: “Cigarette smugglers cheat the country of revenue vital to funding essential public services like hospitals and schools. Smuggling also has a devastating impact on honest retailers forced to compete with the shadow economy in these hard times. The sellers don’t care about the damage they cause by undercutting your local retailers and tobacconists or what effect what they are selling may have on your health - all they care about is profit.”

Councillor Alan Quinn, cabinet member for the environment, added: “Don't be fooled by cheap cigarettes; they're cheap for a reason and often that is because they are illicit and involve organised crime.”