Watch: Sniffer dog finds more than £10,000 worth of illegal vapes and tobacco in West Bromwich shop raid
More than £10,000 worth of illegal vapes and tobacco have been seized in a raid at a shop in West Bromwich.
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Sandwell Council teams and West Midlands Police officers were supported by Cooper the sniffer dog, from BWY Canine Ltd, when they swooped on the shop, which has not been named.
Cooper helped trading standards officers to identify illegal goods around the premises, including an electro-magnetic operated concealment underneath the counter and two secret panels behind a false wall.
There was also intelligence that the energy supply to the property had been de-energised.
National Grid was called out and it was established that the premises had not been paying for electricity.
The power supply to the premises was immediately cut off.
Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for public health and communities, Councillor Syeda Khatun, said: “This successful operation demonstrates our partnership commitment to protecting residents by cracking down on the sale of illegal products.
"This work also helps protect law-abiding businesses from the sale of illegal goods which can create an unfair trading environment for the vast majority of businesses that always follow the rules and buy and sell legal products.
"Retailers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their approach, adapting their methods in order to avoid detection, but our message is clear, with the use of specialist tobacco sniffer dogs, you may hide it, but we will find it.
“In addition, illegal tobacco and vapes can harm our residents' health, so it's crucial we limit their availability.
"Illegal vapes are risky because they haven't gone through safety tests and there can be severe dangers such as dispensing too much nicotine, banned substances or having large tanks encouraging over consumption of nicotine.’’