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Saanich police bust ring allegedly selling vape products at Greater Victoria schools

The seizure was made Friday at a business in the 700-block of Vanalman Avenue, marking the culmination of a months-long investigation by the Saanich Police Department. (Saanich police) The seizure was made Friday at a business in the 700-block of Vanalman Avenue, marking the culmination of a months-long investigation by the Saanich Police Department. (Saanich police)
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More than $100,000 worth of vaping products have been seized by Saanich police detectives who say the items were being marketed and sold at schools throughout B.C.'s capital region.

The seizure was made Friday at a business in the 700-block of Vanalman Avenue, marking the culmination of a months-long investigation by the Saanich Police Department.

No arrests have been made in the case and the investigation is ongoing.

Detectives began investigating reports that vaping products were being sold to students at Saanich middle and high schools in November.

In the months since, police witnessed people selling vaping products to minors at schools across Greater Victoria, both during and after school hours, according to the department.

The same people were also seen selling to young people at malls and parks, accepting cash or cards through portable point-of-sale terminals.

Investigators allege the salespeople used food delivery bags, duffle bags and plastic totes to conceal the controlled products.

The sellers contacted minors primarily through the social media platform Snapchat to advertise their products before sending direct messages to confirm prices and schedule a delivery time and location, according to police.

"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," Saanich police spokesperson Const. Markus Anastasiades said in a statement Wednesday.

Officers with the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team assisted in executing the search warrant on the Vanalman Avenue business on Friday.

Police say investigators seized over $100,000 worth of vaping products, including vape kits, vape pens, e-cigarettes, e-liquids, and fluid tanks.

They also seized liquids that contained up to 98 per cent THC, and some tobacco products, according to police.

The distribution of tobacco and vaping products to minors is prohibited under the federal Tobacco and Vaping Products Act.

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