Quoting statistics from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Inspector Dron, chair of the Scottish Anti Illicit Trade Group, drew a direct link between counterfeit tobacco and the drugs trade, and explained how independent retailers could make a difference.
“Illicit trade, counterfeiting and piracy allow people regular income and if they have regular income they can go buy commodity,” he said.
“Just now illicit tobacco’s wreaking havoc in Scotland. How many of you in all your communities know a man who may be delivering certain things or getting certain things elsewhere? There’s opportunities through the group, through Trading Standards, for you just to talk to people. Because if you talk to people, we make sure that action happens.
“The one thing you need to always remember is criminals are everywhere and they’re in your community. If we stop this chain we stop the monies that buy the commodity.”