JTI has removed two more of its tobacco gantries from stores caught selling illicit tobacco.

Stones Newsagents in Lewisham and Little Health Supermarket in Greenwich, South East London, were both successfully prosecuted for selling illicit tobacco and fined.

A total of 17,000 illegal Polish and Russian cigarettes were found at Stones Newsagents along with pouches containing illegal tobacco worth an estimated £11,500.

More than 60 packs of illicit cigarettes and 38 packets of illicit rolling tobacco were found at Little Health Supermarket.

JTI’s UK head of corporate affairs Paul Williams said removing the stores’ gantries was “the right thing to do”.

“Given the crimes which these retailers have committed we cannot allow the JTI display equipment which we have provided to remain in their premises.

“Prosecutions of retailers brazenly selling illegal cigarettes are increasing and reports like these appear in the local media on a weekly basis. Retailers’ involvement in these insidious crimes are totally unacceptable and more needs to be done to eradicate the sale of illegal tobacco.

“Let’s be clear, retailers who sell illegal tobacco risk a criminal conviction, no further support from JTI and where we own the tobacco gantry a risk of losing that too,” he added.

Retailers aware of illicit sales in their communities can call the Customs Hotline on 0800 595 000.