More than 80,000 illegal e-cigarettes and e-liquid products with a street value of £800,000 have been seized by Salford City Council’s Trading Standards team.
The items were discovered in a warehouse in the Broughton area of Salford last week during a multi-agency raid.
Officers from Greater Manchester Police, the North West Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service also took part in the enforcement visit. Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service has now condemned the warehouse as unsafe and the owners have been served safety improvement notices.
The e-cigarettes seized breach safety regulations and 65,000 of the items are suspected to be counterfeit. A criminal investigation has been launched. The team also seized more than £25,000 which is now subject to a proceeds of crime investigation.
Councillor Barbara Bentham, Salford City Council lead member for environment and community safety, said the team had previously seized items from the premises and given advice on complying with the law.
“We won’t hesitate to take action as many times as necessary against businesses which break the law and put people’s health at risk with illegal products,” she said.
“If anyone has information about illegal or counterfeit goods being sold they can report it anonymously to Crimestoppers and help stamp this out. Apart from putting people’s health in danger, it’s not fair to legitimate businesses which are working hard to stay on the right side of the law.”