Illegal vapes and counterfeit cigarettes seized in Evesham store raids - The Evesham Observer

Illegal vapes and counterfeit cigarettes seized in Evesham store raids

Evesham Editorial 4th Dec, 2023   0

AN ESTIMATED £14,000 worth of illegal vapes, counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco have been seized during recent raids on shops in Evesham town centre.

Officers from Evesham Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) joined forces with Worcestershire Trading Standards during the operations as part of ongoing efforts to tackle serious and organised crime.

Working with partners at Trading Standards, Evesham SNT went out on Monday (December 4) and targeted a store in the town centre but, despite suspicions of illegal activity and searches conducted, no illicit stock was found.

However last Monday (November 27), the team attended two shops to confirm if the stores were selling illicit tobacco or vapes on the back of intelligence received and information provided that these shops had not been using the “Challenge 25” policy.

Both premises were searched and during this we discovered around £10,500 worth of counterfeit cigarettes, illegal tobacco, and illicit vapes inside which were seized by Trading Standards.

On Tuesday, November 21, police targeted another store which was found to have around 350 vapes which were seized from a hidden compartment. Their street value was around £3,500.




PC Adam Johns of Evesham Safer Neighbourhood Team said:

“We have been acting on intelligence gathered and community concerns around the illicit sales of counterfeit cigarettes, tobacco and illegal vapes in the town, as well as under-age sales.


“These joint operations with Trading Standards have been a success, uncovering a large amount of high value counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco following good investigative work.

“These illegal products would have been destined for black market tobacco sales which are linked to organised crime groups so taking them off the streets has not only protected the public from these unregulated products but also disrupted a wider network of criminal activity that impacts our local communities.”

The raid forms part of Operation Target, which sees police work closely with other forces and partners to tackle serious and organised crime and the harm it causes.

Find out more about Operation Target by following #OpTarget on social media.

If you have any information on stores selling illicit tobacco or vapes call 101 or report a crime online at www.westmercia.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime

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