Seize illicit tobacco, vapes worth $12.5m

COMMERCIAL premises in Bankstown were raided by Australian Border Force (ABF) officers as part of Operation Calor which has so far prevented more than five million illegal cigarette sticks and hundreds of thousands of prohibited vapes and drug paraphernalia from reaching the streets.

The operation – supported by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), the Australian Federal Police, NSW Health and NSW Police Force – began in December and aims to disrupt the illicit tobacco and vape supply chain from importation through to distribution and sale.
Almost 40 properties were raided across Sydney in a two-day blitz earlier this month, with the alleged illicit goods located and seized during the operation having an estimated potential street value of $12.5 million.
ABF Assistant Commissioner Tony Smith said the ABF was well and truly on the front foot when it came to the new vaping regulations and they would continue to target, locate and seize these goods at every opportunity.
NSW Minister for Health, Ryan Park, said strong joint action was needed at all levels of government to ensure young people and the wider community were protected from the harmful impacts of vapes.
“It took us over three-quarters of a century to reduce smoking rates across Australia. We now have an opportunity to stem the tide of vaping before it impacts generations of young people to come,” Mr Park said.
“Working with our Federal colleagues, we are tackling the issue at its source to protect the lives of young people. There is nowhere to hide for retailers who are doing the wrong thing. We want them to know the time to stop selling vapes is now before they have us knocking at their door.”
Anyone with information about the importation of illicit tobacco or cigarettes, should contact Border Watch at