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    Illegal tobacco, vapes found in disused Second World War bunker

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    A huge haul of illegal vapes and tobacco with street value of more than £47,000 was discovered in a disused Second World War bunker in a garden in Swansea and in a specially constructed hidden compartment of a west Wales shop.

    According to local reports, Pembrokeshire’s award-winning detection dogs uncovered the haul of vapes, counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco hidden in the garden bunker. They were also involved in a raid on in Swansea city centre.

    In the shop, the team’s sniffer dog found concealed compartments which had been built into the premises for the purpose of concealment. During the hugely successful operation, the dog discovered illegal tobacco and vapes that were being stored in the purpose-built hidden compartment within the shop.

    Both cases are now being investigated and are likely to lead to charges.

    Rhys Harries, team leader for Swansea Council’s Trading Standards 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.”

    The success of the operation was credited in part to members of the public, who have contacted the council to raise concerns about the continued sales of vapes, particularly to minors.

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

    “We had a very busy time in 2023 tackling illegal vape sales,” said Mr Harries. “We are expecting to have confiscated significantly more in 2024.”

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