International tobacco manufacturer Japan Tobacco International has removed its gantries from a Burnley newsagent's who have been prosecuted and fined £1,000 after being caught selling illegal tobacco for the third time.
Taking a stand against the sale of illegal produce in Lancashire, JTI removed their tobacco gantry from Queensgate News on Colne Road after the shop's owner was hit with a suspended prison sentence for selling under-the-counter cigarettes, with the newsagent's having been subjected to eight Lancashire Trading Standards sting operations over a 16-month period.
“This retailer must have thought that selling illegal tobacco would have little downside," said Charlie Cunningham-Reid, UK Head of Corporate Affairs. "However, on top of the penalties handed out by the courts, these retailers have now lost their gantries and any future support from JTI.
“Our message to retailers is simple," Charlie added of the decision by JTI, who are based in Weybridge, Surrey. "Don’t Be Complicit in Illicit.”
The removal of the gantry takes the total number of UK gantries removed by JTI to 38, as the company looks to crack down on illegal practice. In Queensgate News' case, this included the sale of counterfeit produce at slashed prices in packaging which did not bare the UK's typical anti-smoking warnings, suggesting it had been smuggled from overseas.