Rugby shop closed after officers find secret stash of illegal cigarettes and vapes - The Rugby Observer

Rugby shop closed after officers find secret stash of illegal cigarettes and vapes

Rugby Editorial 21st May, 2024   0

A SHOP in Rugby has been closed down after officers found it was selling thousands of illegal cigarettes, packets of tobacco and vapes – some of which were stashed in a secret compartment.

Acting on information received from residents, officers from Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards visited the shop – which cannot be named for legal reasons – on four separate occasions in the last year, and seized 30,340 cigarettes, 219 packs of hand rolling tobacco and 468 vapes.

Some of the illegal products had been stored in a specially-constructed, electronically-operated secret compartment hidden in a false wall.

Trading Standards then approached the shop’s landlord, who worked with officers to have the business evicted from the premise and the shop closed.

Coun Andy Crump, the council’s spokesman for Community Safety, said: “The sale of illegal cigarettes and tobacco undermines the efforts being made to reduce smoking rates by making it easier for children to get their hands on these products and harder for people to quit and remain smoke free.

“Working with local landlords to close these shops is one of the ways in which we are tackling this issue and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the landlord in this case for his support.”

The cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco seized was either counterfeit, or non-duty paid imports which were not in plain packaging and did not have the correct labelling or health warnings for the UK market.

The vapes were oversized, containing too much nicotine.

Trading Standards Officers worked in partnership with and were supported by Warwickshire Police and Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service – the latter of whom were alerted when people were found to be living illegally in offices above the shop.

To report the sale of illegal cigarettes, tobacco and vapes to Warwickshire Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service, visit or call 0808 223 1133.


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