Over £25,000 worth of illegal tobacco and other non-compliant items were seized from Newham shops.

Trading Standards officers from Newham Council cracked down on the sale of the illegal items from 13 businesses in the area over one weekend in late July.

During the operation, 20,000 illegal cigarettes were seized as well as 150 oversized vapes, 300 packets of chewing tobacco, 100g of hand-rolling tobacco and other non-compliant products worth £25,000.

Most of the tobacco was non-duty paid and is suspected to have been smuggled into the country.

Newham Recorder: Thousands of illegal tobacco were seized in NewhamThousands of illegal tobacco were seized in Newham (Image: Newham Council)

Some were also believed to be counterfeit brands which could contain harmful substances and may not self-extinguish.

Investigations into the products sold remain ongoing, and the seized products will be assessed to determine the offences committed.

However Newham Council have warned that anyone prosecuted of selling or supplying illegal tobacco can face penalties including up to 10 years in prison and an unlimited fine.

Councillor Amar Virdee, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Crime said: “A number of unscrupulous traders are going to extreme lengths to evade illicit tobacco detection.

“The number of concealments that are being identified is increasing at an alarming rate.

“The unprecedented uptake of illicit tobacco and unsafe products is of great concern as there appears to be a link between the surge in illicit trade and the current cost of living crisis.”