TRADING Standards officers in Newport have busted 12 city shops for selling illegal tobacco in the past three months.

The shops have all been closed down for three months after "targeted investigations" caught them red-handed selling illegal tobacco worth thousands of pounds.

Most recently, as the Argus reported earlier this morning, Corpa Mini Market in Corporation Road was forced to close with immediate effect and will remain shut for three months.

The city council’s trading standards team led the investigations alongside agencies including Gwent Police and HM Customs and Excise; as well as officers from Operation CeCe, a specialist trading standards team tackling illegal tobacco.

It is estimated that the closures will have prevented illegal tobacco sales amounting to around £375,000.

The council said the sale of illegal tobacco "undermines key tobacco control measures and funds criminal activity in local communities".

And survey by Ash Wales found illegal products make up 15 per cent of all tobacco sales in Wales, with a higher prevalence in deprived communities.

The Newport shops shut down under anti-social behaviour closure orders are: 

• Newport Mini Market, 153 Chepstow Road, until April 19 (all 2022).

• Caerleon Mini Market, 153 Caerleon Road, also until April 19.

• Pill Mini Market, 46 Commercial Street, until April 26.

• Cromwell Store, 43 Cromwell Road, until May 9.

• NP Mini Market, 7B Westgate Buildings, until May 11.

• Nazar Mini Market, 184-186 Corporation Road, also until May 11.

• F Mayberry, 154 Commercial Street, until May 23.

• International Supermarket, 54 Commercial Street, until June 2.

• Crystal Market, 55 Commercial Street, also until June 2.

• Blue Fanta, 424 Chepstow Road, until June 16.

• Blue Fanta #1, 10 Gloster Place, also until June 16.

• Corpa Mini Market, 333 Corporation Road, until June 23.

Anyone with information relating to the sale of illegal tobacco is urged to report it, anonymously, via: