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£2.7 million illegal vapes seized from Northampton warehouse

06 December 2023

Several pallets of illegal Vapes seized in a Northampton warehouse

Acting upon information from Essex County Council Trading Standards that a consignment of non-compliant disposable vapes had been shipped to a warehouse in Moulton Park, Northampton, a team of Trading Standards Officers from West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) visited the site to inspect the vapes. They found that the vapes were illegal because of the tank size being far larger than allowed under current safety legislation and therefore seized them to be detained within the warehouse.

On Friday 1 December WNC successfully obtained a forfeiture and destruction Order at Northampton Magistrates Court after a Judge found that the vapes did not meet safety provisions. This Order authorises Trading Standards Officers to destroy over £2.7 million worth of vapes from the warehouse and be compensated for the cost of the destruction.

Presenting the case for WNC, Susan Desfontaines of the in-house legal team informed the Court that compliant disposable vapes must contain no more than 2ml of liquid, however some of the devices inspected at the warehouse of Tongda Distribution Ltd contained up to 20ml of liquid - 10 times the legally permitted volume, breaching the safety legislation.

Information provided by the owners of the warehouse, revealed that the goods had no UK based owner and were imported to be sold onto UK based sales and distribution agents.

Tackling the sale of illegal vapes is a priority for the Council and I am pleased to hear of the outcome from today’s court proceedings enabling us to seize and destroy over £2,000,000 worth of illegal and unsafe vapes.

I am delighted that we have prevented the sale of these illegal, unsafe vapes – we remain committed to safeguarding our residents from the dangers of the illegal vape trade.
Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member Community Safety, Engagement and Regulatory Services

As part of our commitment to tackle youth vaping and the sale of illegal vapes, WNC is leading a multi-agency approach to work collaboratively on this issue. A summit will be held in February with a range of organisations and partners to move forward on this issue.

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