A retailer from North Wales said he felt forced to infiltrate social media sites to crack down on the illicit trade of tobacco, following ongoing frustrations with Trading Standards.

Retailer Richard Kendrick, from Mace News said he took action after Trading Standards took three months to respond when he reported witnessing illegal activity in his area.

Mr Kendrick loses up to £400 a week as a result of illegal trading. He told RN: “I confronted the sellers on Facebook and even tagged the police so they knew who the culprits were. Since then, I have received death threats but I’m not afraid of them.”

He has urged the police to take more action and reconsider the serious nature of the crime. At the NFRN conference in Torquay last week, Imperial Tobacco’s head of anti-illicit trading James Hall told members SARA has received 781 reports of illicit trading, 30 outlets have been raided, and 91 Facebook sites shut down.

In April, at a National Council meeting Mr Hall said: “Illicit trade is dangerous business with links to organised crime. So, report it, but don’t make a fuss about it.”