According to a recent report by UK media Towerhamlets, the Trading Standards team of Tower Hamlets Council has seized illegal cigarettes and e-cigarettes worth over £27,000 in a two-day operation.
In this operation, officials from Tarnehms conducted routine inspections in the White Church and Mearn districts, resulting in the seizure of over 35,300 illicit cigarettes and 1,235 e-cigarettes. Trade standards officials also received assistance from tobacco detection dogs provided by Wagtail Specialist Search Dogs. These search dogs are able to find cash, tobacco, and cigarettes in the most unlikely places.
In a clandestine storage room, they uncovered a stash of illicit cigarettes, tobacco, and e-cigarettes intended to evade detection. All the products have been confiscated for further examination, and an investigation is currently underway.
The seized illegal cigarettes and tobacco products include smuggled items with suspected counterfeit and cheap foreign labels. These products are in violation of trade standards and regulations and have not paid the relevant taxes. In the UK, the sale of these products is not legal.
All the contents in cigarettes are harmful, containing approximately 4,000 different chemical components, including carcinogens. However, the ingredients in illegal tobacco are unknown and may contain other dangerous substances.
A significant number of e-cigarettes, with storage tank capacity exceeding the legal limit, were seized during this operation. Many of the confiscated e-cigarettes were found to have excessive levels of nicotine and did not comply with the required labeling and information regulations.
Community safety officer Abu Talha Chowdhury has declared that “Our trade standard officials have successfully seized approximately £27,000 worth of illegal cigarettes and e-cigarettes, which were targeted for purchase by citizens due to the approaching Christmas season.
Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman has stated that they will continue to tirelessly protect the public from unscrupulous traders and have pledged to further commit to making Tower Hamlets safer. They affirm that they will not hesitate to prosecute anyone involved in the sale of illegal goods.