Posted on: 23 February 2023
More than £20,000 of illicit tobacco was seized from a store in Taunton on Tuesday (21 February).
The joint operation was carried out by the Heart of the South West Trading Standards Service and Avon and Somerset Police.
The raid followed information received concerning cheap tobacco and vapes being sold to children in the area.
In addition to the tobacco more than 500 illegal disposable vapes, valued at around £5,000, were also found. The matter is now under investigation.
The recent operations means that the Heart of the South West Trading Standards Service (HotSW Trading Standards), which is commissioned by Devon and Somerset County Councils, Plymouth City Council and Torbay Council, has now seized illicit tobacco and vape products worth approximately £350,000 across the service area since 2021.
Alex Fry, Operations Manager from HotSW Trading Standards, said: “Combatting the supply of illegal tobacco and vapes is a high priority for us. This was a significant seizure for Trading Standards with the intention to disrupt criminals selling illicit tobacco and vapes which are potentially dangerous. This Service is keen to respond to information received from our partners and the public to visit those businesses believed to be engaging in illegal activities.”
Neighbourhood policing Sergeant Andrew Gloyn said: “We would like to thank the public for reporting their suspicions and concerns to us, this information is a key part of our investigation into reducing the availability of illegal tobacco and vaping products. We are committed to removing these products from the streets and safeguarding our young people.
“Anyone with any concerns or information about the suspected illegal selling of products like tobacco can call 101 to make a report or visit our website at Avon and Somerset Police – Report to report online.”