Officers responding to gas leak recover thousands of pounds worth of illicit vapes

Officers responding to gas leak recover thousands of pounds worth of illicit vapes

Officers seized more than £27,000 worth of illegal goods and cash in Rochdale over the weekend – after initially being called over a carbon monoxide leak.

At around 11.30pm last night (Sunday 28 January), a gas engineer was called to reports of a potential gas leak in Osborne Street – subsequently being turned away by those in the address.

After a call was made to GMP, officers attended the property. After it was made safe, numerous suspected illegal goods and products were discovered, including items which had been thrown out of the window when officers arrived. 

In total, officers seized:

  • 1400 vapes, with a value of approximately £14,000
  • 80 pouches of tobacco, with a value of approximately £3,000
  • 20 packs of cigarettes, with a value of approximately £240
  • Approximately £10,000 in cash.

Three men, aged 24, 29, and 32, were subsequently arrested on suspicion of money laundering and attempting to sell counterfeit goods. They remain in custody for questioning.

GMP is committed to cracking down on illegal vapes and products across the force and works closely with partners including Trading Standards to ensure consumers are receiving fully regulated products. Vapes which have not been through the rigorous assessments as set by UK regulators could pose a health risk, and officers work hard to keep them off the streets.

Inspector Oliver Bailey, from GMP’s Rochdale district, said: “Sunday’s finds were a great success in our ongoing work to clamp down on illegal vapes being distributed across Rochdale. In recent months, we have taken thousands off the streets, made numerous arrests, and built a wider intelligence picture on how and where vapes are distributed.

“Illicit vapes which have not been through the appropriate regulatory system may present a health risk and I am delighted that we have stopped them from getting out to the public.

“If you have any information about illegal goods – whether that’s tobacco, cigarettes, vapes or anything else – then please do get in touch with us. You can report information to us by contacting 101, visiting, or by calling the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.”

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