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£35K of illegal tobacco and vapes seized in operation

Published: Wednesday, 15 March 2023

Havering Council’s Trading Standards team recovered around £35,000 worth of counterfeit tobacco, cigarettes and vapes from a Romford business in a joint operation with police.

The raid last week, part of Operation CeCe, saw officers swoop in on the business to find the illegal products, after weeks of gathering evidence.

Council officers were accompanied by seven police officers, plus Council-funded sniffer dogs who are specially trained to detect the tobacco.

Upon arriving at the premises, officers found the products concealed in magnetically sealed boxes and quickly removed them.

Our Trading Standards team continues to investigate and further enquiries are ongoing in relation to the products that were seized.

Councillor Ray Morgon, Leader of Havering Council, said:

“This is excellent work from our Trading Standards team working with police and means these illegal and harmful products have been taken off the streets in our borough.

“These operations include a lot of hard work behind the scenes, in gathering the evidence before they can carry out the operations and I thank everyone for their hard work on this.

“Our aim is keep our residents safe.

"That is why it is important for us to crack down on those looking to sell these illegal products like this and take the strongest possible action.”

Acting Superintendent Lisa Butterfield, from the Police East Area Basic Command Unit [BCU], said:

“Illicit tobacco can not only cause serious harm to people’s health, but the proceeds are often used in organised crime and fund more serious offences. 

“This is another great example of our partnership work with Havering Council.”