Cigarettes and vapes seized

Trading Standards seize £20,000 worth of illegal vapes and cigarettes in two-day operation

In a determined effort to crack down on the illegal sale of vapes and cigarettes, Trading Standards Officers from Barking and Dagenham Council seized nearly £20,000 worth of illicit products over a two-day operation.

Taking place on 13 and 14 June, Operation CeCe saw officers raid ten premises across the borough, with the support of specially trained tobacco detection dogs. 

The intelligence-led operation aimed to identify and dismantle active suppliers of illicit tobacco and vapes. Quick follow-up visits ensured maximum finds, resulting in seven out of ten premises being discovered with illegal products.

In total, 29,100 illegal cigarettes and 772 oversized and unsafe vapes were seized. The street value of these products amounts to nearly £20,000. It is believed that organised crime groups are involved in the distribution and sale of these illicit items, often imported via seaports and airports.

The next steps include continued monitoring of these premises and targeting the supply chain. The council also has the option to apply for closure orders and licence reviews to prevent further illegal activities.

If residents are aware of businesses selling illegal products, they can report them to the council by emailing