$15m of illegal vapes seized at warehouse

Vapes worth $15m have been seized by police. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Monique Harmer

Police have pulled off the nation’s largest ever seizure of vapes, confiscating more than $15m worth of illicit product.

Almost 500,000 vapes were seized by police during a search of a Lennon St warehouse in West Melbourne on April 17.

Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Martin O’Brien said the illicit tobacco market had become a “significant driver” for organised criminal activity over the last 12 months.

It has led to more than 100 arrests and large-scale seizures of illegally imported product.

Vapes worth $15m have been seized by Victorian police. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Monique Harmer

Taskforce Lunar was established back in October to target these crime groups, working closely with a range of specialist units including the VIPER Taskforce.

Police investigated whether the warehouse was being used by an organised crime syndicate for the trafficking of illicit tobacco products.

Six men were arrested, including two 20-year-old Melbourne men, a 37-year-old Point Cook man, a 31-year-old Southbank man, a 33-year-old Adelaide man and a 24-year-old man of no fixed place of address.

All six were interviewed and released pending further inquiries.

Victoria Police has been working closely with the Therapeutic Goods Administration, which will now take primacy of the investigation.

Anyone with further information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a report at www.crimestoppers.com.au.