An Indian e-cigarette manufacturer and supplier was raided when city officials found the company address in Google reviews, The Times of India reports.
On July 8, the warehouse of Lovelite vapes – an illicit e-cigarette company in Noida, India – was raided by city officials.
They seized several boxes of raw manufacturing materials and arrested 18 employees.
Officials say there are at least four more companies in the state of Uttar Pradesh that they’re trying to track. The companies that have since ceased trading in the city of Noida.
The health department’s Dr Shweta Khurana said that they’ve been trying to track these companies for a year, following complaints from schools about the popularity of e-cigarettes among students.
Lovelite had been operating under the guise of a software firm, but it’s address in Noida had been verified by reading positive Google reviews of the company.
Dr Khurana told The Times of India:
“We sent our officials multiple times to check on the company, the guards kept saying it was a software firm. We continued our online search and found reviews on Google mentioning how good the e-cigarettes were and how prompt the company was in responding to queries and exchanging devices at their office in Noida.”
“We are pretty sure the company was not only assembling and selling nicotine products, but also manufacturing them.”
E-cigarettes are banned in the state of Uttar Pradesh, where the city of Noida exists.
The 18 people arrested during the Lovelite raid have been released on bail, but Tarun Gupta, the company owner, remains in custody.
Source: The Times of India