Illegal nicotine products including cigarettes, counterfeit hand rolling tobacco and disposable vapes, have been seized as part of a joint operation between Preston Police and Lancashire Trading Standards.
During the operation on 20 June, officers seized a total of 1044 goods from two shops in the city, which, if sold as genuine, would be worth over £10,000.
Dawn Robinson, from Lancashire Trading Standards, said: “The number of illicit tobacco and vapes seizures we are currently dealing with (54 so far this year from Lancashire retailers) shows the high value of the trade in these products. To make matters worse, cheap illicit tobacco and child-appealing vapes are often illegally sold to young people.
The sale of illegal tobacco and vapes has a serious impact on legitimate businesses, and our communities, and is something we are determined to tackle.”
Sgt Martin Hughes, from Preston Neighbourhood Policing Team, added: “Information from the public is invaluable to the police. Without it, we would be unable to carry out this sort of proactive work which helps to prevent and detect crime, ensuring the safeguarding and protection of our community.”