POLICE forces across the UK are targeting shopkeepers who illegally separate fizzy drink cans from larger groupings.
Operation Orphan, budgeted at £16 million, raided more than 14,000 newsagents, convenience stores and mini-markets yesterday and made almost 20,000 arrests.
Chief Inspector Helen Archer said: “Every year, soft drink manufacturers lose hundreds of pounds in revenue because of shopkeepers splitting multipacks.
“What’s hard for us to understand is that these villains run their empires with the collusion of the public.
“Tragically, it seems the British public would rather guzzle their Fanta without thinking of the human cost of their actions.”
A newsagent and two members of the public lost their lives in a gun battle yesterday, with police reporting the trader had “nothing left to lose” having already been cautioned for selling an out of date, limited edition Peanut Lion Bar.