Havering Council’s trading standards team have once again helped to take dangerous counterfeit tobacco, cigarettes and vapes off the borough’s streets.

They gathered evidence over weeks of investigation as part of Operation CeCe.

The team along with officers from Havering police raided a Romford business in a joint operation.

They seized around 400 vapes, over 20,000 cigarettes and a significant amount of hand rolling tobacco. 

All of these items were either non-compliant with UK regulations or illegal to sell within the UK.

The estimated street value of these items is thought to be around £18,000. 

Council officers were accompanied by the 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 counterfeit products that were seized.

The business cannot be named due to those ongoing investigations.

This is the second time in three months, where the team has helped to take dangerous products like this off the streets.

In March this year, they recovered around £35,000 of illegal vapes and tobacco from another business in Havering.

Councillor Ray Morgon, Leader of Havering Council, said:

“This is once again excellent work from our trading standards team working in partnership with police.

“Illegal and harmful products have been taken off the streets in our borough as a result of this operation.

"I know there has been a lot of work to get this result, so I thank everyone involved.

“It’s our aim to help keep our residents as safe as possible.

"That is why we will continue to take the strongest action when necessary against those trying to sell these harmful products.”  

Inspector Matt Feather from the East Area BCU Partnership Team, said 

“People may think that it’s safe to buy counterfeit items and take that risk.

"What they don’t see is that the money is often used to fund organised crime and further illicit activity.  

“We will continue to work with our Council partners to target this kind of activity. 

“If you have any information regarding counterfeit goods, please contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”


Published: 28 June 2023