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Major bust as vapes worth $12.4million are found hidden in cargo by border force




In less than one week, the Australian Border Force has stopped almost 400,000 disposable vapes worth more than $12.47m from entering Australia.

ABF officers uncovered the products in three separate sea cargo consignments, all originating from Asia, at Sydney‘s container examination facility.

Officers found 37,800 disposable vape products on Monday concealed within mixed declared goods and also found 18 palettes of plastic-wrapped cardboard boxes containing 174,960 disposable vapes in a second container.

Three days later officers identified 177,120 disposable vapes in a third container. 

It marks the single-largest ‘at border’ detection of disposable vapes in Australia since new laws cracking down on the import of vaping products were introduced on January 1 this year, the ABF said in a statement.

Australian Border Force officers found 18 palettes of plastic-wrapped cardboard boxes containing 174,960 disposable vapes (pictured) in just one bust

‘The items have been seized and will be destroyed, with investigations into the importation of these goods and their intended destination ongoing,’ the ABF confirmed.

ABF Acting Commander of Trade East, Asha Patwardhan, said the frequency and significant quantities of vaping products which ABF officers were now intercepting demonstrated how importers continued to have a blatant disregard for the new laws.

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‘The new border regulations have been in force for five months now, and we are certainly beginning to see the attempted concealments which these organised crime syndicates are employing,’ Acting Commander Patwardhan said.

‘We are also seeing a vast range of vaping products now stopped at the border, from vape liquid and accessories in our international mail facilities, right through to container loads of disposable products on an industrial scale.’

Acting Commander Patwardhan said the same groups of people profiting from illicit tobacco were also diversifying into the distribution of vaping products.

‘These syndicates use the profits of these illicit activities to fund their other criminal ventures, including illicit drug supply – we must target and disrupt all the streams of their business model by stopping and seizing these vaping products,’ Acting Commander Patwardhan said.

A total of 389,880 were found in three separate containers in less than a week
The disposable vape products have been seized and will be destroyed

‘It is well established that the vast majority of these disposable vapes contain highly addictive nicotine, despite being branded with fun fruity flavours and colourful packaging making it particularly attractive to a younger market and exposing them to unacceptable health risks.

‘The ABF will continue its strong proactive enforcement and disruption efforts to put the health and safety of the Australian community first.’

Members of the community are encouraged to help protect Australia’s border and community by reporting suspicious border-related activity through Border Watch at http://www.abf.gov.au/borderwatch.

Reports can be made anonymously.



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