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Border officials seize $11 million worth of illegal vapes

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Over 32 tonnes of illegal vapes have been intercepted by the Australian Border Force (ABF) with an estimated street value of $11 million.
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Border officials have intercepted over 32 tonnes of illegal vapes, with an estimated street value of $11 million.

The majority of vape products were found to be falsely labelled as ‘nicotine-free’.

Illegal importers attempted to bring the products into the country via air cargo and international mail.

How border officials seized illegal vapes

The seizure, referred to as Campaign Obelia, was a joint effort between the ABF and the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration).

The TGA tested 287 samples of the illegal vapes seized by border officials labelled ‘nicotine-free’ and found 85% contained nicotine. These will be formally seized.

Health Minister Mark Butler said the volume of suspected unlawful vaping products seized “demonstrates the challenges we face in tackling this issue — one we are tackling head-on.”

The law

The discovery comes amid a string of major vape seizures. The Federal Government announced a proposed nationwide ban in May.

Supplying, selling, or possessing a nicotine vape without a prescription is illegal in Australia.

At the federal level, illegally importing or supplying vapes carries penalties of up to five years’ imprisonment and/or fines of up to $1.25 million.

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