Imperial Tobacco has removed one of its gantries from a store which had been caught selling illicit tobacco products - the first time it has done so.

Retailer Ghulam Jafri, of Millfield Off Licence in Peterborough was found guilty of selling illegal tobacco products and had therefore breached the conditions of his Imperial Tobacco unit agreement, Imperial’s anti illicit trade manager Peter Nelson said.

“This sends out a strong message to any retailers looking to profit from this illegal activity there will be strong reprisals if they are caught. Imperial Tobacco will not stand for blatant abuse of our tobacco units especially when they are used or associated with the peddling of illegal tobacco,” Nelson added.

“Unfortunately this minority group is putting at risk, in the eyes of society, the good reputation of hardworking retailers. It’s imperative that we take a firm line on these perpetrators in order to protect our legal retailers and the communities they serve.”

JTI has been removing gantries from stores caught selling tobacco for some time and took out five in 2014.