JTI has removed its tobacco gantry from Bunty’s in Weldbank Lane, Chorley, following the discovery of illegal tobacco at the store last year.

The gantry removal, JTI’s 35th since 2014, comes as part of the manufacturer’s continued efforts to combat the illicit trade via its Don’t Be Complicit in Illicit campaign.

In July 2018, the store lost its licence to sell alcohol due the seizure of 78 illegal tobacco products, but the owner, Ramesh Karsan Varsini, appealed the decision. In December his appeal was rejected at a hearing at Chorley Magistrates Court.

Charlie Cunningham-Reid, UK head of corporate affairs, commented: “Once again JTI has demonstrated its commitment to take action against retailers found to be selling illegal tobacco. Our action, supporting those of law enforcement agencies, serves as a warning to any retailer tempted to sell illegal tobacco products.”

Cunningham-Reid added: “JTI calls on other category partners in the distribution chain to join us by withdrawing their support from any retailer who sells illegal tobacco.”

He said retailers should protect their business by passing on any information on those selling illegal tobacco to the HMRC Fraud Hotline on 0800 788887, Trading Standards on 03454 040506, the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, or go to JTI’s Don’t Be Complicit in Illicit website at www.jtiadvance.co.uk/dontbecomplicit