Imperial rips gantry out of jailed smuggler’s store

Imperial took action against jailed smuggler Paul Taylor and his Flowers By Scrumpys store in Gedling, Nottinghamshire by removing his gantry.

Imperial Tobacco has taken action against jailed smuggler Paul Taylor by removing his gantry and sales support from his store.

According to the Nottingham Post, Taylor, who ran a florist and off-licence in Gedling, Nottinghamshire, was caught multiple times with hundreds of litres of wine, thousands of litres of spirits, kilograms of rolling tobacco and thousands of cigarettes, all smuggled from Spain. When asked to explain his actions he said it was for his personal use.

An HMRC and police investigation uncovered that up to 90% of his sales were not going through the till and he was jailed for 28 months.

HMRC fraud investigation service assistant director Richard Young said: “He lied, cheated and stole from the public purse while taking business from his honest and hardworking competitors.”

The prosecution was a breach of Imperial Tobacco’s conditions of supply so the gantry was removed from his shop. JTI also withdrew all sales support.

James Hall, Imperial Tobacco’s anti-illicit trade manager, said: “By refusing to tolerate the illegal actions of retailers like Mr Taylor, who peddle illicit tobacco, and enforcing this through removing our gantries from their premises, we continue to protect the interests of his hard-working, legitimate counterparts.”

The business is now under new management and none of the new or former staff are alleged of any wrongdoing.

Do it: Find out how to tackle illicit trade in your area


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