Thursday, February 23, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Arrests Made Following Vape Sales To Children

Two people have been charged after the execution of four search warrants uncovered $500,000 worth of illicit tobacco and vapes at businesses in the Mackay Whitsunday district.

Police allegedly seized 100kg of illicit tobacco, thousands of illegal smoking products such as vapes and approximately $80,000 in cash.

The search warrants were executed at businesses in Celeber Drive Andergrove, Carl Court Rural View, The Esplanade Airlie Beach and at a residence at West Mackay, on Friday February 10.

Mackay Whitsunday District Detective Inspector Emma Novosel said Operation Kitimat had been launched following multiple concerns from the community in relation to the sale of vapes and tobacco products to children, including those in school uniforms.

“Operation Kitimat identified that the peak trading times were prior to 9am and after 3pm, which corroborates significant information we received from members of the public,” she said.

“The operation was aimed to disrupt this criminal enterprise and send a clear message that such activity, including the sale of tobacco and smoking products to children will not be tolerated in Mackay Whitsunday District.”

A 32-year-old woman and 30-year-old man have both been charged with possession of tainted property and are due to appear before Mackay Magistrates Court on March 13, 2023.

Investigations are ongoing.

“We urge anyone with information in relation to the possession of illicit tobacco or non-compliant products to contact police,” Detective Inspector Novosel said.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink by providing information using the online suspicious activity form 24hrs per day at

Call 1800 333 000 or report online at

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