According to British media outlet The Northern Echo, the Darlington City Council’s Trading Standards Agency collaborated with city enforcement officers to assist the police in a joint operation.
During the operation, it was discovered that two vehicles were being used as containers to conceal illegal goods.
These businesses have been found to employ advanced covert tactics to store illegal cigarettes and e-cigarettes. Without the assistance of Griff, Bran, and Cooper (tobacco detection dogs from BWY Canine), identifying these items would be extremely difficult.
Shaun Trevor, the head of the trade standards team at Darlington City Council, has warned that anyone found selling illegal e-cigarettes or cigarettes, especially to children, can expect a visit from law enforcement.
He also stated that he will take further action to stop the circulation of these illegal products in Darlington and will maintain a zero-tolerance stance towards this illicit trade.
A total of 1269 packs of cigarettes, 250 packs of hand-rolled cigarettes, and nearly 500 e-cigarettes with nicotine concentrations exceeding the limit were seized in this operation. Many of the e-cigarettes were found to have a capacity of up to 9000 or 10000 puffs, well above the legal limit of 600 puffs.