A store in London has had its JTI-owned tobacco gantry removed after illicit tobacco was found for sale.
Owner Ketan Patel, of Premier Food & Wine in Dudden Hill Lane, Willesden, had been caught selling illicit tobacco as part of a raid by Brent Council Trading Standards Officers last September.
He was fined £1,600 and ordered to pay costs of £1,081 by Willesden Magistrates Court earlier this week for the offence.
Charlie Cunningham-Reid, JTI’s UK head of corporate affairs, said: “This is the 25th time JTI has removed a gantry from a retailer found to be selling illegal tobacco and this clearly demonstrates our resolve in taking action against this activity.
“If this type of crime continues, customers will lose trust in their local shops as the false impression grows that all of the independent trade is rife with ‘dodgy cigarettes.”
NFRN CEO Paul Baxter urged other suppliers to follow JTI’s policy. “We applaud JTI’s continued action in removing their support from retailers prosecuted for selling illegal tobacco.
“Any retailer who sells illegal tobacco in their store gives the rest of the sector a bad name and we encourage other suppliers to follow the lead of JTI and Camelot, who also have a policy to remove National Lottery terminals from illegal tobacco sellers, to take action,” he said.
Report illicit tobacco sales to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.