12th April 2022

Oxford Street raid nabs £100,000 fakes

Counterfeit and illegal goods, including vaping products and tobacco, have been seized in a raid on an Oxford Street retailer.

By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team
We are putting these questionable traders on notice that they will not be tolerated in our city

A joint operation between Westminster City Council Trading Standards and the Metropolitan Police has seized around £100,000 worth of counterfeit and illegal goods from a shop on London’s Oxford Street.

The haul included almost 4,500 disposable vapes which contained excessive levels of nicotine or which failed to conform to UK safety standards.

Also seized were 420 counterfeit vaping products and 2,366 ‘Snus’ products – a form of smokeless tobacco that is placed in the mouth – which contained no English labelling.

The operation, which took place on the morning of April 6, is the second raid on an Oxford Street tourist ‘souvenir’ shop in the space of a fortnight. On March 29 more than 1,500 counterfeit goods worth more than £22,000 were removed.

The list of items taken away in the latest raid also included counterfeit mobile phone covers, counterfeit Apple Airpods, counterfeit Sony PS4 consoles, USB Chargers with no safety labelling and unlabelled packets of shisha tobacco.

Raj Mistry, Executive Director of Environment & City Management at Westminster City Council, said: “We are putting these questionable traders on notice that they will not be tolerated in our city. We’ll continue to take action against such unsafe trading activities in order to keep our residents and visitors safe.

“We will not allow those selling illegal or counterfeit goods in Westminster to keep up such unsafe practices.

“Sooner or later we will identify such illegal trading and we will seek prosecutions and the maximum fines.”

Assisting in the raid was John Dunne, the Director-General of the Westminster based UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) which is the largest trade body for the vaping sector. He said: “Trading in a safe and compliant manner is at the heart of our organisation’s values.

“As a body we work closely with trading standards officers across the country to get rid of these rogue sellers, which give our industry as a whole a bad name.

“It is important to ensure adult consumers can purchase safe products while also keeping them out of the hands of young people.”

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