Police seize 4,000 illegal cigarettes and vapes from Dover shops

A man exhaling while using a vape
-Credit: (Image: Nicholas.T.Ansell/PA Wire)

Police and trading standards seized more than 4,000 illegal cigarettes and vapes from shops in Dover. The illicit devices and counterfeit tobacco were uncovered during inspections of seven stores in the area.

Working with Kent County Council’s Trading Standards team, Dover’s Community Safety Unit officers carried out visits to businesses across the district last Wednesday (July 3). Police said the vapes were found in one of the premises and the cigarettes in a second.

The council said that in total, over 3,000 cigarettes, 2kg of hand rolling tobacco and 1,000 illegal vapes were removed from the town centre during the operation.

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Illegal vapes can include those with tank sizes that are banned in the UK due to the quantities of liquid they contain. Other vapes wrongly state that they contain no nicotine.

Dover town beat officer PC Ben Goff said: ‘This work was carried out after we received information regarding the sale of the illegal goods in the area. We continue to support Trading Standards in their investigation following these seizures.

"Very often the sale of illicit tobacco helps to fund organised criminal gangs which causes wider implications in the community, so any reports made to authorities regarding businesses selling such products are looked into robustly."

A spokesman for KCC Trading Standards said: "This operation was a great success and is an excellent example of how all partner agencies working together can have such a huge impact on this area of illegal activity. In total over 3,000 cigarettes, 2kg of hand rolling tobacco and 1,000 illegal vapes were removed from the town centre.

"Trading Standards will continue to organise and coordinate activity to target those individuals and businesses causing the greatest amount of harm to our communities and the legitimate economy."

Anyone wishing to report the sale of illegal tobacco can do so at www.stop-illegal-tobacco.co.uk or by contacting Crimestoppers.