A DOG with a nose for tobacco sniffed out thousands of illicit products in Grays.

Alfie detected 6,000 cigarettes and chewing tobacco products inspection visits conducted by Thurrock Council trading standards officers and Essex Police officers taking part in Operation Henry, which cracks down on the supply of forbidden tobacco.

Each region receives eight days of dog detection that is provided by Wagtail UK and funded by the Department of Health.

Alfie helped detect the concealed stashes of tobacco at two premises in Grays on Friday.

The seizure included non-duty paid cigarettes and a tobacco product used for chewing which cannot be sold legally in the UK. The visits were conducted as a result of information provided by the public.

Phil Smith, Thurrock Council’s portfolio holder for public protection, said: "Those dealing in illegal tobacco may be encouraging people - including children - to smoke by providing a cheap source.

"The detection dogs can find tobacco and cigarettes even if hidden in the most unlikely places. Offenders need to know that they will face consequences if they choose to sell these illegal products."