AN estimated £8,500 worth of illegal vapes, counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco were seized during a raid on a store in Bromsgrove.

Police targeted a mini market on The Strand and visited premises on Church Street and the High Street today (Tuesday November 28) following intelligence from members of the public and schools about the suspected sales of illegal vapes, counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco around the town, including sales to underage children.

At the mini market we uncovered a haul of illegal vapes with an estimated street value of £4,500 and counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco worth £4,000.

The illicit products were both hidden under the counter and concealed underneath plinths around the shop before being seized by Trading Standards officers.

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Officers from Bromsgrove Safer Neighbourhood Team joined forces with Worcestershire Trading Standards during the operation in the town centre as part of ongoing efforts to tackle serious and organised crime.

Police Sergeant Steve O’Neill of Bromsgrove Safer Neighbourhood Team said: “Today we have acted on community concerns around the illicit sales of counterfeit cigarettes, tobacco and illegal vapes in the town.

“This joint operation with Trading Standards was a success, uncovering a large amount of high value counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco following good intelligence work.

“These illegal products would have been destined for black market tobacco sales which are linked to organised crime groups so taking them off the streets has not only protected the public from these unregulated products but also disrupted a wider network of criminal activity that impacts our local communities.”

The raid forms part of Operation Target, which sees police work closely with other forces and our partners to tackle serious and organised crime and the harm it causes.