JTI has removed another tobacco gantry from a store caught selling illicit tobacco.

It is the fifth time the tobacco manufacturer has taken one of its gantries out of a store this year as it seeks to crack down on illicit sales.

Test purchases were carried out at Istanbul Mini Market in Gloucester prior to a raid with sniffer dogs and officers from Gloucestershire Trading Standards Service, Police and HMRC.

A large quantity of illicit cigarettes and rolling tobacco were found hidden in the store, owned by retailer Ali Rostam, who later failed to appear before Stroud Magistrates Court.

JTI’s head of corporate affairs Paul Williams said: “Given the offence committed by this retailer we cannot allow the JTI display equipment which we have provided to remain in the premises.

“Retailers’ involvement in these dishonest crimes are totally unacceptable and more can be done to eradicate the sale of illegal tobacco. Our commitment to support the actions of HMRC and Trading Standards is steadfast and we must work together to eradicate this trend.”

Retailers aware of illicit tobacco being sold in their area are urged to call the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.