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£35k worth of illicit tobacco and vapes seized in East London

The illegal products were found hidden in magnetically sealed boxes by officers and trained sniffer dogs.

East London trading standards has seized £35k worth of counterfeit tobacco, cigarettes and vapes from a Romford business.

The police and Havering Council’s trading standards team raided the site at the beginning of March in conjunction with Operation CeCe, which is part of a wider HMRC strategy to tackle the problem of illegal tobacco trade.

The illegal products were found hidden in magnetically sealed boxes by officers and trained sniffer dogs.

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.”

He added: “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.”

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