August 20, 2022
Illicit vape and tobacco products worth about £40,000 were seized from stores as part of a major operation in West Yorkshire.
According to West Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Trading Standards and officers from the Kirklees Town Centre Teams seized in excess of 3,000 illegal vapes worth between £35- £40,000 as well as 77,420 cigarettes in twin operations in Dewsbury and Huddersfield.
The operations occurred at multiple shops in both towns on July 18 and Aug 8 in which multi-agency teams also seized 235 50g-pouches of hand-rolling tobacco, 80 counterfeit perfumes and 38 items of counterfeit clothing.
The operation took place in response to recent increases in the sale of illegal vapes in both town centres.
Sergeant Amanda Holroyd, Kirklees Town Centre Partnership sergeant, said, “Officers from our team and West Yorkshire Trading Standards have taken illegal and counterfeit items worth tens of thousands of pounds from the streets of Kirklees in what have been some very significant seizures.
“We know cash from the sale of such goods can often be used to directly fund organised crime so it is important we do all we can to cut off sources of funding for serious criminality which can blight communities.
“Enquiries remain ongoing with our colleagues following these seizures and I would ask anyone who has information about organised criminal behaviour and the sale of illegal products to contact us.”
Linda Davis, West Yorkshire Trading Standards Manager warned of the dangers of illicit produce, particularly when it comes to underage sales.
“The illegal trade in tobacco products makes it easier for children to start smoking, takes advantage of cash-strapped families, and helps fund organised crime.
“We would always remind members of the public of the adverse health, economic and social impacts of the illicit trade of tobacco products, including the linkages with human trafficking and a wide range of organised crimes.
“Our teams continue to work very closely with West Yorkshire Police to tackle this illegal behaviour and we want to thank residents for their support in reporting the sale of these goods.”