Two retailers have had their tobacco gantries removed by JTI after they were found guilty of selling illegal tobacco.

JTI removed the gantries from Stones Newsagents in Lewisham and Little Health Supermarket in Greenwich after they were prosecuted for selling illegal tobacco and fined a combined total of over £6,000.

Paul Williams, UK head of corporate affairs, commented: “Given the crimes which these retailers have committed we cannot allow the JTI display equipment which we have provided to remain in their premises. We decided that the removal of our tobacco gantry was the right thing to do.

“Prosecutions of retailers brazenly selling illegal cigarettes are increasing and reports like these appear in the local media on a weekly basis. Retailers’ involvement in these insidious crimes are totally unacceptable and more needs to be done to eradicate the sale of illegal tobacco.

“The majority of retailers are hardworking honest folk who do their best to serve the community in which they live. Those retailers who discover criminals in their area supplying illegal cigarettes owe it to their local community to report the perpetrators to the local authorities or call the Customs Hotline on 0800 595 000.

“Our commitment to support the actions of HMRC and Trading Standards is steadfast and we must work together to eradicate this trend. 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.”