Black market cigarettes containing deadly asbestos available across Belfast

16.5% of all cigarettes consumed in 2015 were illiegal

Trading Standards chiefs have previously warned people not to buy Russian Jin Ling brand but it can still be found on sale in Belfast



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28 November 2014

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An illegal cigarette brand which was previously discovered to contain asbestos, is currently on sale in Belfast.

The dangerous black market Jin Ling brand has been banned in the UK, but a survey conducted by tobacco manufacturer Philip Morris Ltd, has found that has deterred criminals from trading in this lucrative sector.

Former Scotland Yard detective chief inspector Will O’Reilly conducted the survey of illicit tobacco in Belfast for Philip Morris Ltd.

Over three days in August 2014, illegal tobacco products were bought from 49 shops, pubs and minicab offices across the city.

Trading Standards warned the public earlier this year not to buy the Jin Ling brand after it was discovered that the cigarettes contained deadly asbestos.

Nevertheless according to a Belfast Telegraph report, packs of Jin Ling were found on sale at a Belfast car wash, while the survey also found the illegal brands Gold Mount, Golden SeagiieS, Kingdom, MGs, Palace, Don, VB and Airlife could all be bought in Belfast for between £3.50 and £4 a packet.

In total, 95 products were bought across Belfast, including 90 packs of illicit cigarettes and five 50g pouches of roll-your-own tobacco.
Of the 49 outlets were the illegal products could be bought – 41 were shops, including four which had already been caught selling the illegal products. Twice they were purchased from men in pubs, five times from controllers in minicab companies and once from staff at a car wash.

Will O’Reilly said: “Overall our test purchasers found that illicit tobacco products can be easily purchased in all areas of the city that they visited. Most of the retailers selling illicit tobacco products were white indigenous Irish.”



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