Chinese customs have seized a whopping 600 metric tons of vape oil, worth in excess of $40 million, that officials claim had been smuggled in from the United States.
While details on the incident are limited, news agency Xinhua reports that 20 are under “criminal detention”. The product was referred to as “electronic cigarette oil”, so we can’t be totally clear on the exact contents of the product. However, the high value suggests it’s probably finished e-liquid.
More than 300 police were involved in the seizure, indicating the huge scale of the operation. Four companies, based in the mainland cities of Xiamen and Shenzhen, were raided in total. Xinhua says they were some of the biggest suppliers of e-liquid in China, with that knowledge originating from Gongbei Customs Office’s head Zhou Bin.
E-cigarettes are booming in China, with 300-percent year-on-year growth over the past few years, according to Zhou.
It’s slightly odd that e-liquid is being imported into China since e-cigarette and vape oil production started in the country. While that industry isn’t as big as it once was, both continue to be produced in large quantities. Dekang and Hangsen are two such Chinese companies with a global e-liquid presence.