Retailer's gantry removed after illicit tobacco sales conviction

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A Blackburn-based retailer has had his gantry removed by Imperial after being convicted for possession of counterfeit tobacco.

Imperial said Zainul Chandia, of Northgate News in Blackburn, had violated the terms and conditions of his contract and would no longer receive any support from the company. 

A raid by local Trading Standards resulted in the discovery and seizure of over 100 packets of cigarettes, and over 40 pouches of rolling tobacco. He was subsequently convicted by magistrates for possession of counterfeit tobacco.

Imperial Tobacco UK’s anti-Illicit trade manager, James Hall, said: “Law enforcement authorities and tobacco manufacturers alike continue to demonstrate that the illicit tobacco trade will not be tolerated. It harms honest retailers and damages communities.

“We applaud Blackburn with Darwen Trading Standards for securing this particular conviction, whilst also recognising the wider success TS authorities are enjoying across the UK in the ongoing fight against illegal tobacco.”

He said Imperial had received over a thousand reports of potential illegal tobacco sales since January 2018, resulting in 56 positive seizures.

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