Philip Morris has hit back at claims that illicit tobacco in Australia is not a problem, refuting allegations that it had not grown since the introduction of plain packaging.

Chris Argent, Philip Morris director of corporate affairs, said the black market in tobacco was one of the fastest-growing and most profitable organised crime activities in the country.

He said KPMG’s Illicit Tobacco in Australia 2014 half-year report estimated illegal tobacco accounted for 14.3% of the market in 2014, up from the year before, and added that the tobacco black market had grown by almost 25% since plain packaging was introduced two years ago.

Meanwhile, JTI has ripped out gantries from a further two stores. Metro Food and Wine Limited in Slough and Quality Food & Wine in Reading both had their gantry removed following prosecutions for selling illegal tobacco.

Do you know anyone selling illicit tobacco? Report them ANONYMOUSLY by calling 020 7689 3371. Together, we can smoke them out.