Tobacco manufacturer JTI has now removed 25 gantries from retailers found guilty of dealing in illicit tobacco products.

On 7th July it removed its tobacco gantry from Premier Food & Wine in Dudden Hill Lane, Willesden, north-west London, following action by Brent Trading Standards. The owner, Ketan Patel, had been fined and ordered to pay costs of £2,600 for selling illegal cigarettes and tobacco.

Charlie Cunningham-Reid, JTI’s UK head of corporate affairs, commented: “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’.

“Our commitment to support the actions of Trading Standards and HM Revenue & Customs is steadfast and we must work together to take a stand against illegal tobacco.”

Paul Baxter, CEO of the NFRN said: “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.”

Anyone who knows of criminals supplying illegal cigarettes in their area can report them through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or the Customs Hotline on 0800 595000.