JTI cracks down on illegal tobacco sellers
The manufacturer has removed 43 gantries in recent years from illicit tobacco vendors.
JTI has ripped out tobacco gantries from three independent convenience stores after the retailers were convicted of selling illegal tobacco products.
Gantries were removed from NJ Food & Wine in Staines, Kenton Superstores in Harrow, and KS News in Bilston, taking the total number of gantries removed by the manufacturer to 43 since it started cracking down on illicit retailers.
NJ Food & Wine was fined £3,066 plus costs in May 2019 after pleading guilty to illicit tobacco sales , while Kenton Superstores was fined and ordered to pay costs of £3,000 in August 2019 after pleading guilty to possession of 700 packs of illegal cigarettes. Both and their gantries removed on 11 November 2019. Meanwhile, KS News’s premises licence was revoked in August 2019 following a seizure of 9,860 cigarettes in February 2019. The gantry was removed on 4 December 2019.
JTI said the removals send a clear message to those selling, or tempted to sell, illegal tobacco products that if caught, they will face legal, financial and commercial consequences. It also called on other companies supplying products and services to these stores to review their relationships and consider if they want to continue doing business with them.
The company urged retailers to use its anonymous reporting function on the JTI Advance website to notify it of other illicit tobacco sellers, or report it through trading standards (03454 04 05 06), HMRCs’ Fraud Hotline (0800 788 887), or Crimestoppers (0800 555 111).
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