SOLIHULL Council has seized more than 1.5 tonnes of illegal oral tobacco.
The large consignment was initially brought to the team’s attention after it was intercepted by Border Force.
Border Force contacted the Council’s Trading Standards team regarding a consignment of tobacco product received at Birmingham Airport called Naswar.
They suspected the product was oral tobacco, the supply of which is banned in the UK.
Council officers seized the full 1.64 tonnes of tobacco and sent a sample for analysis, confirming that the product was illegal oral tobacco.
Before applying to the court for a forfeiture order, which would have forced the importer to relinquish the product, Trading Standards gave the importer the opportunity to sign the product over to them for destruction, which he has now done. The tobacco will be securely destroyed.
Coun Karen Grinsell, Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities and Partnerships, said: “Oral tobacco can be more dangerous than tobacco that is intended for smoking because of the long period of time when it just sits in the user’s mouth. It is great to see partners working together to prevent dangerous goods entering the borough and potentially causing serious health risks to the public.”
Naswar is very popular in some south Asian communities and comes in a block form. A small amount of the product is broken off the block, rolled into a ball and placed in the mouth between the gum and the cheek where it is held for 15 to 20 minutes.
The supply of oral tobacco is banned under the Tobacco for Oral Use (Safety) Regulations 1992, made under the Consumer Protection Act 1987.