Police seize large amount of vaping products for sale to students

Vapes destined for schools

Over $100,000 worth of vaping products destined for sale to youth at local schools has been seized by Saanich police detectives.

The seizure stems from an investigation that began in November after police received reports that people were going to middle schools and high schools in Saanich to sell vaping products to students under the age of 18.

“It is clear that the items are branded and marketed in such a way to entice youth into buying them, and these individuals specifically targeted schools to sell their products,” said Const. Markus Anastasiades.

The federal Tobacco and Vaping Products Act prohibits the distribution of tobacco or vaping product to anyone under 18.

Over the course of the investigation, officers saw the products being sold at schools across the capital region, both during and after school hours.

People were also seen selling items to youth at malls and parks — even accepting payment through portable point-of-sale machines.

The products were put in food-delivery bags, duffle bags and plastic totes to conceal what they were.

Saanich’s Street Crime Unit and the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team executed a search warrant on March 17 at a business in the 700-block of Vanalman Avenue in relation to the case.

Items located included vape kits, pens, e-cigarettes, e-liquids, tanks and disposable items, along with tobacco and liquids that were up to 98 per cent THC — the active ingredient in marijuana.

It was determined that the sellers were primarily using the social-media platform Snapchat to contact customers, then followed up by sending direct messages to confirm prices and set delivery times and locations.

No arrests have been made, and the investigation continues.

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