A Blackburn-based tobacco trader has had his gantry removed by Imperial after violating the terms and conditions of his contract, and he will no longer receive any sales support from our organisation.

Zainul Chandia, of Northgate News in Blackburn, was convicted by magistrates for possession of counterfeit tobacco. 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.

James Hall, anti-illicit trade manager at Imperial Tobacco UK, commented: “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, while also recognising the wider success trading standards authorities are enjoying across the UK in the ongoing fight against illegal tobacco.”

Imperial continues to assist in the reporting and investigation of these activities wherever possible. Hall explained: “Our dedicated anti-illicit trade app, SARA, launched in January 2018, and since that time we’ve received over a thousand reports of potential illegal tobacco sales. This has resulted in 56 positive seizures and the removal of 103 social media posts.”

“We continue to urge any retailers aware of illegal tobacco activity in their locality to contact the appropriate authorities. Alternatively, they should ask their Imperial rep about SARA.”