Canny canine sniffs out shop's secret panels hiding illegal vapes worth £10,000

Cooper was able to sniff out the shop's secret panels Credit: Sandwell Council

A canny canine has helped police and council teams sniff out more than £10,000 worth of illegal vapes and tobacco at a West Bromwich shop.

Cooper the sniffer dog helped Trading Standards officers identify illegal goods around the store.

The precocious pooch found an electro-magnetic operated concealment underneath the counter and two secret panels behind a false wall.

Cooper the dog was on hand Credit: Sandwell Council

Councillor Syeda Khatun, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for public health and communities, said: “This successful operation demonstrates our partnership commitment to protecting residents by cracking down on the sale of illegal products.

"This work also helps protect law-abiding businesses from the sale of illegal goods which can create an unfair trading environment for the vast majority of businesses that always follow the rules and buy and sell legal products. 

"Retailers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their approach, adapting their methods in order to avoid detection, but our message is clear, with the use of specialist tobacco sniffer dogs, you may hide it, but we will find it.

“In addition, illegal tobacco and vapes can harm our residents' health, so it's crucial we limit their availability.

"Illegal vapes are risky because they haven't gone through safety tests and there can be severe dangers such as dispensing too much nicotine, banned substances or having large tanks encouraging over consumption of nicotine.’’

To report people responsible for crime in your area – including selling illegal goods – contact the charity Crimestopppers on 0800 555 111.