Multi-Agency Operation Seizes Thousands of Illegal Vapes and Tobacco Products in Dartford and Gravesend

Authorities crack down on illegal vapes and tobacco in Dartford and Gravesend

In a recent multi-agency operation, authorities in Dartford and Gravesend have targeted three shops suspected of selling illegal vapes and tobacco products. The joint effort, which involved Kent Police, Gravesham council, Kent Trading Standards, HMRC, and the Home Office immigration enforcement team, resulted in the seizure of thousands of unregulated items.

During the operation on April 24, officers recovered over 1,200 vapes and 94,000 cigarettes, along with 20kg of shisha and 46 pouches of tobacco. In addition, £4,000 in cash was also seized. The three targeted shops were found to be using deceptive methods to conceal their illegal products, such as false walls and hiding items in wheelie bins in an outside garden.

Two individuals were also arrested for immigration offences during the operation. Inspector Lee Cheesman of Kent Police stated, “These results show just how prevalent this issue is and the lengths to which some shop owners will allegedly go to conceal products and avoid detection.” He also emphasized the serious health risks posed by the sale of illegal vapes and tobacco products, and the impact on legitimate businesses.

The authorities are determined to continue their efforts to stamp out the sale of unregulated tobacco and hold offenders accountable for their actions. This successful operation serves as a warning to others engaging in the illegal sale of such products. The joint effort between various agencies will continue in the future to crack down on this illegal activity.

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