A series of undercover operations conducted by Japan Tobacco International (JTI) and security firm TM EYE has resulted in the conviction of a man selling illegal tobacco outside a car-boot sale.

Gary Williams pleaded guilty to selling tobacco products that broke both labelling and packaging laws at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court, in London, on May 31. Williams was ordered to pay a total of £210 in fines and costs.

Evidence of the offences was obtained through a series of undercover mystery shopping operations conducted outside a car-boot sale held at Coles Park Stadium in north London. Eight illegal packs of 50g roll-your-own tobacco were purchased during the investigation.

JTI’s UK head of corporate affairs Charlie Cunningham-Reid said: “We welcome the decision made by the Court in this case. This is the first time JTI has been directly involved in the private prosecution of a criminal selling illegal tobacco.

“It marks a further step forward in the company’s commitment to help tackle the problem of illegal tobacco and we will not hesitate to take similar action in future.”