14,000 illegal cigarettes and tobacco products seized from Ilford Lane trader
- Credit: Archant
More than 14,000 illegal cigarettes and tobacco products were seized from a trader in Ilford, some of which were stashed behind a false wall.
On the bank holiday weekend Redbridge Council’s Trading Standards Licensing Teams and Redbridge Police patrolled the Ilford Lane area to provide reassurance to local communities who were celebrating the Eid Festival, to mark the end of Ramadan.
Following complaints about the sale of illegal tobacco, an inspection was carried out at Vapour On, Ilford Lane.
Officers inspected the premises and initially found the usual grocery and confectionary items for sale.
The officers then carried out a further inspection at the rear of the shop, where they discovered a holdall full of illegal tobacco products, as well as a large stash of tobacco concealed behind a false wall.
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The council said: “More than 14,000 cigarettes and tobacco products were seized, all of which contained incorrect labelling, many without English. Tobacco items hidden in this manner are usually found to be counterfeit.
“The sale of illegal tobacco is a growing problem in the UK. It threatens the health and well-being of customers who can end up consuming dangerous products and deprives the government of tax revenues, which fund our NHS.
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“This practice also threatens the livelihoods of genuine tobacco and alcohol retailers by creating an unfair trading environment.”
Consumers of illicit tobacco can be exposed to products that are produced without regard to the strict standards and sophisticated regulatory requirements that manufacturers must meet.
The leader of Redbridge Council, Cllr Jas Athwal, said: “The sale of illegal and counterfeit tobacco is becoming an all-too-common-problem, and we need do everything we can to try and nip it in the bud.
“Illegal and counterfeit tobacco products can be dangerous, and there is also mounting evidence the money from the sale of illegal tobacco can often find its way into the pockets of those involved in more serious crime.
“Well done to the teams involved for taking this tobacco out of circulation. Their tenacity and persistence certainly paid off.”