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Thousands of illegal vapes discovered in disused WWII bunker in Swansea garden

Illegal vapes with a street value of more than £47,000 have been discovered in a disused WWII bunker in a garden in Swansea.

illegal vapes

Swansea Council Trading Standards Officers, with the assistance of specially trained tobacco and vape detection dogs, found the illegal vapes during the search of a local shop, suspected of selling both illegal vapes and counterfeit tobacco.

A search of the bunker at the rear of the shop, also unearthed large quantities of counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco.

A second operation in the city centre, using Pembrokeshire-based BWY Canine Ltd also seized large quantities of illegal tobacco and vapes that were being stored in a purpose-built hidden compartment within a shop.

Both cases are now being investigated and are likely to lead to charges for both shop owners.

The latest haul is part of the Council's continued crackdown against the sale of illegal vapes and follows on from an operation recently where Trading Standards from Swansea visited a storage facility in London and unearthed more than £1.5 million of illegal vapes.

Rhys Harries, Team Leader for Trading Standards in the Council, said: "Information passed to us by concerned consumers is helping us to track down businesses in the city that are selling illegal vapes and tobacco.

"We've had an extremely busy time investigating a number of cases and have been successful in prosecuting a number of people in recent months.

"Our latest discoveries illustrate the lengths people are going to, to try and hide these illegal products and so we are trying to stay one step ahead and use our knowledge and skills to find them."

David Hopkins, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Performance, said: "This latest operation has been very successful in disrupting some of the illegal sales that are being made to consumers in our city.

"Our successful operation is, in part, down to information from the public, who have contacted us to raise concern about the continued sales of vapes, particularly to minors.

"I would urge the public to continue to get in touch with our Trading Standards Team if they have concerns about a shop making illegal sales in their community. We will continue to take action to protect young people in Swansea."

A recent survey carried out by Vape Club has shown that Swansea Council has confiscated more illegal vapes than all other Councils in Wales in 2023.

Mr Harries added: "We had a very busy time in 2023 tackling illegal vape sales and we are expecting to have confiscated significantly more in 2024."

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