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Illegal cigarettes and vapes seized during Tower Hamlets raid

July 12, 2022

Sniffer dogs Pippa and Rex with the counterfeit and illicit tobacco seized from the containers near Chrisp Street market in Tower Hamlet

Illegal tobacco worth more than £28,000 and banned vape liquids have been seized during a two-day raid in Tower Hamlets, London.

Officers from Tower Hamlet Council’s Trading Standards team were joined by sniffer dogs Pippa and Rex to uncover the counterfeit and illicit tobacco from containers and shops in the borough.

The biggest haul was found in a container near to Chrisp Street Market, where officers seized 40,000 illicit cigarettes and 23,680 counterfeit cigarettes, as well as hand-rolled and smuggled tobacco.

The Trading Standards team also targeted shops illegally selling vape liquid and nitrous oxide.

They seized 200 bottles of a type of vaping liquid which is banned in this country due to its strength, and 26 1.5kg cylinders and 250 canisters of nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, which can lead users to suffocate or experience permanent nerve damage.

“Illegal and counterfeit tobacco are a real issue in our community, and we must work together to stamp it out,” Cllr Kabir Hussain, lead member for environment and climate, said.

“I encourage everyone to report any suspected sales to our Trading Standards team so we can take the appropriate action and keep our communities safe.”