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Royal Borough successfully prosecutes shop over illegal vapes

A shop and a company director have to pay court fines, costs and charges totalling £2,870 for having illegal vapes in possession for sale, following a Trading Standards investigation and prosecution by the Royal Borough.

52 illegal vaping products were seized by Trading Standards on 26 July 2023 at K&B Convenience Store, 2 Blandy House, King Street, SL6 1DZ. The businesses is owned and run by KK&P Limited, the director of which is Mr Bhaumikbai Patel, aged 37, of Berkeley Road, Uxbridge, Middlesex.

Both Mr Patel and KK&P Limited pleaded guilty to the two charges brought against them at Reading Magistrates’ Court on Friday 14 June 2024. Mr Patel, entered guilty pleas on behalf of himself and the limited company.

The charges related to product requirements and product labelling. The vaping products were illegal because they did not comply with product requirements in that they contained a bigger volume of nicotine-containing liquid than is permitted - the maximum permitted volume for disposable electronic cigarettes is two millilitres, these were 10 millilitres.

They were also not correctly labelled in that the health warning was smaller than required and therefore not sufficiently prominent.

These charges were brought against both the limited company and Mr Patel personally as he was directly responsible for the offences, and he had received advice and warnings from Trading Standards when illegal vaping products had been found at the business premises on a previous occasion.

Mr Patel must pay total fines of £600, a victim surcharge of £240 and the Royal Borough’s costs of £595. KK&P Limited must pay total fines of £600, a victim surcharge of £240 and the Royal Borough’s costs of £595. This is a total of £2870 in fines and costs, and an order was made for the forfeiture and destruction of the vapes.

Andrew Durrant, Executive Director of Place Services, said: “We take sales of illegal vaping products incredibly seriously and our Trading Standards have done a great job delivering this successful prosecution.

“Clamping down on illegal vaping products is essential to protect users from products which do not comply with UK requirements. The sale of illegal products also provides an unfair trading advantage over the vast majority of other shops, which fully comply with all legal requirements.”

If you suspect a retailer is selling illegal vapes you can let the trading standards team know via email at Trading.Standards@RBWM.gov.uk