Imperial Tobacco targets Facebook fraudsters

Counterfeit tobacco seller

The latest instalment in Imperial Tobacco’s Suspect it? Report it! anti-illicit trade campaign turns the spotlight on criminals using social media sites to peddle illegal tobacco.

Imperial Tobacco Suspect It Report It posterSellers like ‘Baccy Boy’, who’s featured on the new poster, are not as faceless as they think; Imperial Tobacco not only monitors the activity of online sellers, but shares any ensuing intelligence with law enforcement.

Peter Nelson, Imperial Tobacco Anti-Illicit Trade Manager commented: “Online isn’t an area that’s traditionally associated with the illicit tobacco trade, but Imperial Tobacco has observed a notable increase in the volume of illegal cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco being offered for sale through various social media platforms… and is taking steps to crack down on offenders.

“For instance, we’ve recently lent our support to the latest stage of Operation Jasper, a joint initiative by the National Markets Group alongside trading standards, police and other brand holders, which is cracking down on the online sale of illegal, counterfeit goods.

“Through Jasper, thousands of infringing images/pages have been reported to Facebook for removal and numerous fake products – including significant amounts of tobacco – were also seized over a two week period, with further enforcement action already planned.

“Illicit tobacco continues to be a plague on communities and needs to be eradicated. If you’ve any suspicions around its sale in your locality, then please act by contacting the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000, or your local Trading Standards or police. Remember, if you Suspect it? Report it!”