Imperial dials up heat on illicit tobacco with its own hotline

Imperial Tobacco's Suspect It Report It poster

Imperial Tobacco has launched its own anti-illicit trade (AIT) hotline, that allows anyone who suspects illicit tobacco activity to report it easily and anonymously.

The aim of the hotline is to allow information on illegal tobacco to be shared with relevant law enforcement authorities quickly and securely. In addition, the hotline can also be used for legitimate products being sold to under 18s and single sales.

The hotline – 0800 0495992 – will replace HMRC’s on Imperial’s Suspect it? Report it! website as the primary telephone contact for all matters concerning AIT.

This development follows the launch last year of Imperial’s AIT app, SARA. So far, information gathered via SARA has contributed to 55 seizures, equating to approximately 1.4 million cigarettes and 274kg of tobacco.

James Hall, Anti-Illicit Trade Manager at Imperial, said: “Initiatives like SARA demonstrate that by revolutionising the way we process information from the trade and public alike we can continue to combat the vile illegal tobacco ‘industry’ and protect hard-working, honest retailers.

“We hope to build on this success with our new hotline and, as always, urge anybody with any suspicions to report them ASAP. Remember, if you Suspect it? then Report it! by calling 0800 0495992!”