JTI has removed the gantries from two stores in the south of England for dealing in illegal tobacco.
Both Micklefield Superstore (pictured) in High Wycombe and 6 till 11 in Ilford had been successfully prosecuted and ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £3,245.
In addition, JTI withdrew its support from the Good Morning Superstore in Harrow following action by the local authority revoking its premises licence.
“JTI has again demonstrated its commitment to take action against those retailers found to be selling illegal tobacco,” said Charlie Cunningham-Reid, UK head of corporate affairs for the tobacco manufacturer.
“Ahead of the 20 May deadline to sell branded cigarette and RYO packs, our actions and that of the law enforcement agencies should serve as timely reminders to any retailer tempted to sell illegal tobacco products in their shops. Any retailer who attempts to exploit the new environment will find that alongside tobacco manufacturers, Trading Standards Departments and HMRC will continue to investigate, disrupt and prosecute those involved in the illegal tobacco trade.”
JTI renewed its call for other category partners in the distribution chain to join it in withdrawing support from any retailer who sells illegal tobacco.
Retailers who know of criminals supplying illegal cigarettes in their area should contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.