JTI has removed another tobacco gantry from a store prosecuted for selling illegal tobacco.

Sudhir and Suresh Radia of Radia Superstore in Melton Road, Leicester, admitted to possessing illicit tobacco products before city magistrates earlier this month.

A raid on the store earlier this year had revealed more than 2,000 non UK duty paid cigarettes and 650 grams of loose tobacco which featured only foreign health warnings.

Each were fined £1,000 plus costs.

JTI’s UK head of corporate affairs Paul Williams said removing its gantry from the store was “the most appropriate course of action”.

“A minority of independent retailers who get sucked into this illegal trade are giving honest hard-working retailers a bad name,” he said.

“Customers who buy tobacco products will eventually lose faith and trust in their local independent shop if a perception grows that the independent trade is rife with dodgy cigs.

“This prosecution coupled with our action clearly demonstrates that this crime does not pay. 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.”

Earlier this year JTI removed a gantry from a store which had been repeatedly caught selling tobacco to under 18s.

Retailers who would like to report illicit sales should contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 595 000.