Shop ordered to close for three weeks after selling illegal vapes

Date:

In response to allegations received about ‘Ponty Mini-market’, previously known as ‘Alan’s Store’ in Pontypool, officers from the Council’s Trading Standards Team obtained evidence that illegal vapes and counterfeit tobacco were being sold from the shop.

The team used powers under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to apply for a Closure Order to be granted. 

On Tuesday, April 9, a hearing took place at Newport Magistrates’ Court, and after considering evidence from Trading Standards Officers, a Closure Order was granted to prevent further criminal and anti-social behaviour occurring within the area. 

The order prohibits access to the premises, except by prior arrangement and specific written agreement from the council.

Breaching a Closure Order is a criminal offence and could result in imprisonment for a period of three months, an unlimited fine, or both.

Daniel Morelli, head of public protection and environment said: “A Closure Order is a fast and flexible power that can be used by councils to close premises which are being used, or likely to be used, to commit crime or anti-social behaviour.

“Illegal vapes do not meet product standards and have been known to contain harmful substances and chemicals, which could be damaging to health, particularly to children.

“The council’s Trading Standards Team will take robust action to protect the public and legitimate businesses from risks of harm.

“I would urge anyone with concerns about shops selling vapes illegally or counterfeit goods to contact the council’s Trading Standards Team.”

Sargeant Annalea Kift, partnership and communities at Gwent Police said: “There has been some excellent, proactive work involving the targeting of illicit cigarettes and illegal vapes in Torfaen.

“We are committed to making communities safer and better places to live and work, and we will always work closely with our partners and local residents to ensure we achieve this.

“Any offences on the sale of vaping products and cigarettes should be reported to Trading Standards.”

Anyone with information about the sale of illegal tobacco or vapes can contact the Torfaen Trading Standards team on 01633 647623 or e-mail trading.standards@torfaen.gov.uk

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