A raid on a Woolwich newsagent uncovered 6,600 illegal cigarettes.

Police with sniffer dogs, customs and Greenwich Council trading standards officers found the illegal fags in the basement of JB Patel and Son on Woolwich New Road.

Owner Jashbhia Patel was ordered to pay £5,891 at Bexley Magistrates Court on January 26 after pleading guilty to three charges including importation of tobacco without payment of duty and failure to ensure compliance with applicable safety requirements.

Patel also pleaded guilty on behalf of JB Patel and Sons Ltd as director to failure to place necessary health warnings Surya King Luxury cigarettes and failure to ensure compliance with applicable safety requirements.

Greenwich Council cabinet member for community safety and environment, Jackie Smith, said: "We take a serious view of anyone who is selling tobacco or alcohol illegally, and we will not hesitate to press for a prosecution.

The cigarettes had no health warning in English or customs duty paid on them.

They also failed a safety test measuring the fire risk of cigarettes left alight.

Coun Smith added: "Sales of illegal tobacco and alcohol have damaging consequences for the health of our communities, and affect businesses which operate honestly.

"Cheap illegal tobacco helps encourage young people to start smoking, and discourages older smokers from giving up the habit."

The raid was one of 78 in Greenwich last year, with seizures of goods made at 29 of them.

They included 17,300 cigarettes 48kgs of chewing tobacco, and 630 litres of spirits and wine.

Their total value is estimated at more than £17,000.

Anyone suspecting that tobacco or alcohol is being sold illegally should call Greenwich Council Trading Standard team on 020 8921 8223 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Visit www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/tradingstandards or email tradingstandards@royalgreenwich.gov.uk for more information.